Armin & Jani move up the order Armin Schwarz and Jani Paasonen hold ninth and 14th places respectively after the second day of Rally Mexico. Both Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team drivers set top eight times but as several rivals hit problems...
Armin & Jani move up the order
Armin Schwarz and Jani Paasonen hold ninth and 14th places respectively after the second day of Rally Mexico. Both Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team drivers set top eight times but as several rivals hit problems on the fast but extremely difficult Mexican stages it was important to drive with caution and avoid unecessary risks. Armin ran third on the road and suffered from a sandy surface that was limiting the grip available but he ended the leg in a manufacturer points-scoring position.
Jani returned to the action with his Fabia WRC 05 repaired after he crashed out of yesterday's opening leg and set about demonstrating the improved performance of the new Fabia WRC 05 that is making its debut on this event. He was eighth fastest on today's second stage but drove cautiously to preserve the car on the rough third stage that was littered with rocks and where there were many dips in the road to give the car a severe pounding.
Tomorrow's final leg features just two stages to the east of Leon. Despite this being the shortest leg of the event it could also be the toughest as the final stage, a combination of two stages used last year with an extra section included, is 44.39kms long and believed to be the longest in the 2005 WRC.
Armin Schwarz: "The third stage today was a lot rougher than the other two -- a bit like the Acropolis Rally. There seemed to be a lot more grip on that particular surface and so I was able to get the confidence that I was missing before. I changed the diff settings and that made it better this afternoon although I completely lost the brakes on SS10. Everyone seems to have had brake problems at some point on this event and we can't take risks now."
Jani Paasonen: "The car was fine over the first two stages today but there were a lot of rocks on the third so I was trying to be a bit more cautious. Perhaps it was too cautious but there were many big dips like on shakedown. I was seventh on the last stage today and I think I should have driven faster but it was in my mind that I didn't want to damage the car again."
Martin Muehlmeier (Head of Škoda Motorsport): "Our overall position is perhaps not so bad although our times haven't been as good as I would like. The Fabia WRC 05 has again proved reliable and the most important thing on this rally now seems to be just to get to the finish."