The second day of Rally GB saw the Å koda Motorsport Team drivers again suffer mixed fortunes but survive intact ahead of tomorrowâ€™s short final leg. Toni Gardemeister hit trouble even before the start of todayâ€™s opening stage when the ...
The second day of Rally GB saw the Škoda Motorsport Team drivers again suffer mixed fortunes but survive intact ahead of tomorrow’s short final leg.
Toni Gardemeister hit trouble even before the start of today’s opening stage when the differential hydraulic pressure pump failed on the run out from service. Four stages lay ahead and it was a frustrating morning for Toni before the team could replace the gearbox, along with the front and centre differentials, for the afternoon stages.
Toni said: “The problem caused us a few nasty moments as the pressure affects not only the differentials but also the brakes. I hit a bank on one stage and nearly rolled the car. We were suffering with locking rear brakes for most of the morning so I was relieved to get through those stages.”
Didier Auriol avoided technical problems today but did not escape unscathed from the most northern stages of the event.
He said: “I spun the car on the opening stage and it came to rest with the front wheels in the ditch. Luckily there are a lot of spectators on this rally and so they were able to help me back onto the track.”
Director of Škoda Motorsport Petr Kohoutek said: “We’ve had another day of technical problems but hopefully they are behind us now and we can concentrate on getting all the cars to the finish tomorrow afternoon."
After a day of mixed performances yesterday 21-year old Czech driver Jan Kopecký was much more relaxed today in his factory supported Škoda Matador Team Octavia WRC. His stage times have been much better and more consistent, allowing him to move up the leaderboard into 19th.
Jan said: “We really sped up this morning and climbed into the top 20. Unfortunately we broke the rear differential on SS13 and that stopped us moving further up the leaderboard but apart from that we’ve been going at a good speed all day.”
Tomorrow’s final leg of the event is the shortest at just 73.86kms. The day includes two attempts at the 30.61kms Rhondda stage in the morning. The 2003 World Rally Championship finishes with a live TV stage through Margam Park, the place where Carlos Sainz dramatically lost the 1998 title when his engine failed just 500 metres from the finish of the rally.