Team Ford Galpenergia Racing 'bets' at Espinho
Lisbon, October 2, 2001 - Ford Galpenergia Racing's next bet will cover Casino de Espinho Rally. Just a fortnight after Rota do Vidro Rally, the team has now moved north, towards the Espinho-Vale de Cambra region to face another event of the 2001 Portuguese Rally Championship.
As in the previous rounds, this event organized by Estrela e Vigorosa Sport motorsport association will have Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata ready to challenge for victory, while driving the Ford Focus WRC with the Galpenergia and Ford Dealer Network livery.
"In fact, we are facing this rally with the same spirit that we've faced all the other events this season, aiming our focus onto the top places and ready to fight for victory", said the driver. "Anyway, we are aware of the relative limitations of our Pirelli tyres towards our competitors' rubbers, although we are not down towards the objectives we have defined".
In order to broad his knowledge on the Ford Focus WRC performance on tarmac, last weekend Rui Madeira went to Spain to witness M-Sport works team's testing session, while preparing the WRC Sanremo Rally, which will be held at the same time as the Casino de Espinho Rally. "I've learned a lot from both the drivers and technical team, gathering information that, for sure, will allow me to better understand the car's reactions on that specific type of ground", said Madeira.
As for the event itself, it will be held between Friday's Portuguese public holiday and Saturday. It will have a single leg, divided into three sections and 12 stages. On day 1 there are three short stages to run, while the other nine will be held on the second day, totaling 172 km, on a road overall route of 402,5 km.
"This will be a rally with some new stages, while other are run opposite to what they were in the past, so we have a lot to do during the recons", he said. The organizers will allow two days (Wednesday and Thursday) for this purpose.
Madeira also said that "we will use some of the solutions that we got during the testing session that the previous event became, after our misfortune, as well as other set-up options that we will come across during next Friday's official shakedown session".
"But we promise that we will do our best in order to reduce the points difference that now separate us from the championships leaders. This will be a 'all or nothing' type of rally, as one cannot chance to loose more points to our main contestants".
2001 PORTUGUESE RALLY CHAMPIONSHIPS (after Round 7 of 10)
DRIVERS: 1st A. Lopes, 40 pts; 2nd Rui Madeira, 29 pts; 3rd P. Chaves, 19 pts; 4th M. Campos, 18 pts; 5th T. Laukanen and F. Peres, 10 pts; (...)
CO-DRIVERS: 1st L. Lisboa, 40 pts; 2nd Fernando Prata, 29 pts; 3rd S. Paiva, 19 pts; 4th C. Magalhães, 18 pts; 5th K. Lindstrom and J. Silva, 10 pts; (...)
MANUFACTURERS: 1st Peugeot, 52 pts; 2nd Ford, 41 pts; 3rd Mitsubishi, 35 pts; 4th Subaru, 20 pts; 5th Toyota, 18 pts; 6th Citroën, 9 pts; (...)