Kubica in Wales, will he paddle or will he stick?
Robert Kubica was bloody impressive on the first three stages in Spain and he currently (writing this in the middle of the night, how will I ever get up in time for tomorrow’s stages) leads the WRC2 standings. His nearest rival, Elfyn Evans, is over 50 seconds behind Polish driver. To reiterate, it was only three stages. We sort of knew he is fast on asphalt, given his Formula 1 origins, but this pace puts him right alongside, or even in front, of WRC crews in their WRC cars. Which is exactly what Robert will be driving in the final event of the year in Wales.
I admit I did not follow every single bit of news regarding this topic, so I still don’t know whether Kubica’s DS3 WRC will be equipped with the custom built paddle shifter Robert uses in his current RRC machine. Limited mobility of his right arm makes it hard, and on longer runs probably quite uncomfortable, to use the standard sequential lever system we see in other RRC and WRC cars. Kubica’s car is therefore equipped with special paddle which is located near the steering wheel and can be operated with left hand. System is also built so it works with a delay, thus nullifying the advantage paddle shifters offer compared to lever systems.
But this system is in his RRC car. What I would like to know is will this system be moved, or built from scratch, in the WRC machine Kubica will drive in Rally GB? Are there any technical obstacles preventing the installation of this system (I don’t suppose there are, given how very similar RRC and WRC cars really are)? And finally, is the condition of Robert’s arm improving and can we expect to see him use conventional shifter as early as Wales or perhaps next year?
EDIT: Well of course, as numerous tweets suggest, people do know! Since conversion from RRC to WRC is quite simple on these cars, we can expect the same DS3 to be used in Wales, with a larger restrictor, lighter flywheel and a few other bits and pieces changed. Which means same shifting system Robert is using now gets to stay in the car. Thanks all, that solves it.