Difficult New Zealand rally for Fabia WRC 05 Armin Schwarz ended the Rally of New Zealand in 10th place but team mate Janne Tuohino was denied a finish on his first visit to the event when the Skoda Fabia WRC 05 suffered a damaged turbo on the...
Difficult New Zealand rally for Fabia WRC 05
Armin Schwarz ended the Rally of New Zealand in 10th place but team mate Janne Tuohino was denied a finish on his first visit to the event when the Skoda Fabia WRC 05 suffered a damaged turbo on the first stage of the final day.
Janne limped through the stage but retired from the event before SS18 to prevent further engine damage. Janne's retirement ended a frustrating rally for the Finn who had begun with a 50 seconds penalty when an ECU failure delayed his departure from first service to the opening stage and denied him the chance of a points finish on his first finish to New Zealand.
With today's stages located south of Auckland in the Waikato region, the Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team took the opportunity to evaluate some different set-ups and tyre options as it is not possible to test ahead of any non-European events in the WRC calendar.
With the first quarter of the season now complete the WRC returns to Europe for four gravel rounds. They start with the Rally d'Italia-Sardinia on April 28-May 1 (followed by Cyprus, Turkey and Greece) where Armin Schwarz will lead the team with Janne Tuohino in the second Fabia WRC 05.
Armin Schwarz: "This morning I deliberately made the wrong choice of softer compound tyres because I wanted to compare their performance with the ones Janne was using. After Janne stopped I decided not to push as there were big time gaps ahead and behind me. not to push as there were big time gaps ahead and behind."
Janne Tuohino: "We lost power on the start line of the first stage and there was smoke in the car so we knew it was a turbo problem. I drove carefully to reach the finish with the windows open so we could breathe. I think that I could have had a good result if it had been trouble-free but losing 50 seconds at the start made it very difficult to challenge yesterday because road position is so important."
Martin Muehlmeier (Head of Skoda Motorsport): "The first quarter of the season is now over. We haven't yet obtained the overall results we want but these engine problems on Janne's car were our first retirement from technical reasons this season.
There are still 12 more events to go so we must try to be more consistent and we must increase the amount of testing we do between events."