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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 14:55 GMT
Mosley backs Turkish Rally
Marcus Gronholm was one of the drivers concerned about competing in Turkey
Drivers had raised their fears over the event
The Rally of Turkey will go ahead despite fears of the effect of the impending war in Iraq.

The 27 February event had been thrown into doubt when competitors on the Swedish Rally said they wanted leg three of the World Rally Championship to be cancelled.

But on Tuesday, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley dismissed their safety fears.

He told the WRC official website: "The place where the rally is being held is a very long way away from anywhere, so it is difficult to envisage any scenario which would end up with any sort of action or fighting in the mountains and hills where they are having this event."

I would rather we stayed at home. In the current climate, it seems a bit silly to be going

Didier Auriol

Turkey is NATO's only Muslim member country and could be used as a staging point for any attack on Iraq.

But, following negotiations with event organisers, Mosley gave the rally the all clear.

He said: "I've had several conversations with the Turkish Motorsport Federation and looked at every situation very carefully and they can see absolutely no basis for anyone to be worried.

"And I must say that having looked at the map, I rather share their view."

Earlier Skoda driver Didier Auriol vented his fears over the rally, which is run in Anatolia.

Auriol said: "I would rather we stayed at home. In the current climate, it seems a bit silly to be going."

The Rally of Turkey is making its debut on the championship calendar in place of Kenya's axed Safari Rally.

World Rally Championship
This year's rallies:

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See also:

01 Oct 02 | World Rally
17 Jan 03 | World Rally
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