Antony Warmbold not satisfied before WRC final spurt Final spurt in the World Rally Championship: starting with the Rally Japan (30 September to 2 October), the last four rounds of the World Rally Championship will be staged within merely six ...
Antony Warmbold not satisfied before WRC final spurt
Final spurt in the World Rally Championship: starting with the Rally Japan (30 September to 2 October), the last four rounds of the World Rally Championship will be staged within merely six weeks of each other. In the season's final two gravel and two asphalt rallies, Antony Warmbold, together with his co-driver Michael Orr, wants to demonstrate his potential. Prior to the last quarter of the season, the 27-year-old professional rally driver is not completely happy, though.
"Since the start to the season, I've had a clear disadvantage vis-à-vis the other Ford drivers, and other drivers using Michelin tyres, as well," says the professional rally driver who lives in Monaco. "For example, most recently, in the Rally Great Britain, I didn't get the same tyres as Henning Solberg, who - like myself - was competing with a privately entered Ford Focus, and the Citroen drivers Manfred Stohl and Xavier Pons. The difference between my older compound and the new development stage can amount to as much as one second per kilometre."
Warmbold added: "In the Rally Great Britain, all other drivers had tyres with a semi-soft tread compound, which would have been perfect for the drying stretches of the first leg. Unfortunately, I merely had the choice between soft and hard tyres and wasn't able to get the semi-soft compound. I would estimate that this cost me 20 seconds right at the start to the rally. Because I wasn't happy about this, I was given Toni Gardemeister's semi-soft tyres after he retired, but afterwards the conditions were so dry that I wasn't able to use these tyres any more."
An annoying situation for the German: "Ever since the season started there have been numerous occasions when I didn't get the same tyres as the other drivers. For instance, when there were new compounds available before the WRC rounds in Mexiko and New Zealand I either didn't receive them at all or only later - and when I did get them it was just one set and then I had to drive with an old compound again."
Warmbold finished twelfth overall in Great Britain. "A better result would have been possible, but after losing so much time on the first day we had to go out as the first car on Saturday and this meant another disadvantage for us. This simply continued throughout the rally. Added to this were wrong tyre choices because the poor start put us under a lot of pressure and we wanted to make up lost time." On the last day, there was a moment of shock for the German: "On a very fast stretch there was a piece of rock on the track which had been kicked up by one of the cars in front. I was unable to evade it and slightly got off the track, which caused part of the body to be damaged. In addition to the roughly 15 seconds we lost as a result of this excursion, we were later slowed down by another minute because, while deflecting, the tyre rubbed against the body until it came off the rim."
Warmbold is now hoping for a good rally in Japan. "With my eight-place finish, I scored a Championship point there last year. Now I'm the only driver in the team who already knows this event," he explains. "I hope that I'll be able to make good use of my experience."