WRC

Rally New Zealand: M-Sport preview

Two teams supported by M-Sport's customer programme will contest the 2003 Propecia Rally of New Zealand. The teams will run from a special M-Sport area inside the service park, where they will both benefit from the support of M-Sport's specialist...

Two teams supported by M-Sport's customer programme will contest the 2003 Propecia Rally of New Zealand. The teams will run from a special M-Sport area inside the service park, where they will both benefit from the support of M-Sport's specialist engineers, technicians and a central support truck, carrying parts and other shared technical equipment.

Car #20
AW Rally Team
Driver: Antony Warmbold (D)
Co driver: Gemma Price (GB)
Vehicle: Y3 FMC (Ford Focus WRC02)
Tyres: Michelin

Antony Warmbold returns to the FIA 2003 World Rally Championship in New Zealand after being unable to compete in last months Rally of Turkey as he was laid low by illness.

Preparations for this, his third outing this season, centred on a gravel test in Portugal at the beginning of last month. Here the team made relatively small and carefully thought out steps to provide a car that is both predictable and progressive for their South Pacific challenge.

"We worked a lot on the car and spent much time adjusting the differentials. I think that we have found a set up which will make the car easier to drive on the unknown gravel conditions of New Zealand and I am very happy with how it performed at the test. Now it is just down to me as a driver," he conceded.

His father, Achim Warmbold, a former driver and Team Manager, seized the opportunity during the test to drive the car "it is a big advantage to have somebody as experienced as my father to give me advice and his experience means we are able to make quick and concise advances in set-up. I think that as we do more rallies the times will show on the stopwatch " Antony explained.

Warmbold has his sights set on a realistic goal of competing in and finishing 12 rounds of the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship this season, gathering valuable experience for the future.

Car # 34
Tomasz Kuchar
Driver: Tomasz Kuchar (PL)
Co driver: Maciej Szczepaniak (PL)
Vehicle: Y129 XEV (Ford Focus WRC02)
Tyres: Michelin

This is the second 2003 World Rally Championship outing for Tomasz Kuchar, who moved to a Ford Focus RS WRC02 for his world rally activities this season, which started in Sweden in February. Despite not competing since, Kuchar has spent time analysing data and information gathered from the Swedish Rally and as a result used a recent pre-Rally New Zealand test in Cumbria to trial some adaptations to his driving style.

"I felt I was personally not maximising the power I know the Focus has got and was feeling frustrated by some of my times in Sweden. I have been through the performance data, made some changes and I am now feeling much more confident in both the ability of myself and of the car," he said.

Kuchar competed in New Zealand for the first time last year, finishing 11th overall. "For sure it would be great to better last year's result and we now have the car to do it. But we haven't been in the car competitively for the past two months so I am realistic about out chances,"

"I am 100% committed and prepared, we have worked hard with our engineering support team on set up -- and made definite progress during our test in Cumbria at the end of last month. I am very happy to be doing this rally -- it is useful experience for us in the Focus to compete in such a fast and specialist event," he said.

Kuchar has his sights set on competing in up to 10 rounds of the 2003 World Rally Championship.

-frs/msport-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Tomasz Kuchar , Gemma Price , Antony Warmbold
Teams M-Sport