WRC

Rally Portugal: Ford final notes (REVISED)

BP-Ford maintains world title lead despite results change Reigning world champion BP-Ford maintained its lead in the FIA World Rally Championship manufacturers' standings despite a time penalty following tonight's finish of the Rally de Portugal.

BP-Ford maintains world title lead despite results change

Reigning world champion BP-Ford maintained its lead in the FIA World Rally Championship manufacturers' standings despite a time penalty following tonight's finish of the Rally de Portugal. Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen and team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen each received a five-minute penalty after this fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. It dropped Gronholm and Hirvonen from second and third respectively to fourth and fifth.

Event scrutineers drew the team's attention to the fact that the rear side windows on the Ford Focus RS World Rally Cars of both crews did not comply with the homologation form of the car in terms of thickness. The matter was referred to the FIA stewards of the meeting.

Team representatives attended a meeting of the stewards at which they accepted that a breach of regulations had taken place. The penalty was accepted by the team and no appeal was made.

"We were disappointed to learn from the scrutineers that the team made an error," explained BP-Ford team director Malcolm Wilson. "We will launch a detailed investigation into how this could have happened at M-Sport."

Despite the time penalty, BP-Ford retains the lead of the manufacturers' championship and is now eight points ahead. Gronholm is now second in the drivers' standings, one point behind Sebastien Loeb. Hirvonen remains third.

Credit: ford

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