Miguel Campos in the fight for the European title
Peugeot invited to the Rally of Ypres
The fight for the first place in the European Rally Championship made Peugeot Total Silver Team SG change its programme for 2003 by accepting the honourable invitation of the organisers of the Ypres Rally (a coefficient 20 race) which will be held next 27th and 28th of June, which means it will not be able to be take part in the Azores Rally. With Miguel Campos leading the European Championship since he notched up three victories, the team's decision was strategically logical in exchanging a coefficient 10 rally for a coefficient 20 leaving no room for the Portuguese's main rival, Bruno Thiry, to come too close to the leadership.
The impressive duel fought in the Poland Rally promises a re-match in the Belgian race: "our team already enjoys great international prestige, again shown by the insistent invitation of the organisation of the Ypres Rally. We had to seriously think about this opportunity which will allow us to stay up there in the race for the title. This rally will also be important for the driver to gain more experience in rallies where he does not know the specials. However this decision means we will not be racing in the Azores Rally, which we are really sorry about" said Carlos Barros, Sports Director of the Peugeot Total Silver Team SG.
Miguel Campos, who was one of the main protagonists in the fight to win the Azores Rally last year will not be taking part in the race on the island of São Miguel this year: "I would like to be in both races but logistically it would be complicated to take part in two events only five days apart. On the other hand, taking part in the Ypres Rally is very positive as it gives me a chance to stay ahead of the European Championship until the Madeira Rally and to take advantage of the maximum coefficient races which are fundamental in the fight for the 2003 European Championship" said the driver of the Peugeot 206 WRC.
"It will be a new challenge for me and for our team but at the same time we know that it will not be easy, as besides Thiry there are other local drivers with good cars and who know the specials well while we have never been there before. Thiry is running on his home ground and needs to win, and we can obviously expect the same difficulties as in Poland. My main goal is to finish amongst the first places but I will be fine-tuning tactics according to our best options" concluded Miguel Campos.