* Toni Gardemeister secures seventh place overall * Skoda Motorsport scores another three manufacturing points * Skoda Octavia WRC showed its strength on extremely rough rally The third day of the Rally of Turkey was another happy day for the ...
* Toni Gardemeister secures seventh place overall
* Skoda Motorsport scores another three manufacturing points
* Skoda Octavia WRC showed its strength on extremely rough rally
The third day of the Rally of Turkey was another happy day for the Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team. Toni Gardemeister finished a respectable seventh overall, after another hard day with five special stages in the mountains around Kemer. This result brought Toni two points in the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, which places him tenth in the World Championship standings. Skoda Auto collected no less than three Manufacturer point, bringing its total to six, securing a solid fifth position in the Championship ranking.
Toni started the day in sixth position and left the service park this morning with the intention of taking no risks, and bringing the Skoda Octavia WRC to the finish, while defending his position. Toni found it difficult to be in this situation, saying: "Today I drove more carefully. It was unusual for me to drive defensively, even more so after two days of going flat out. The car did not feel as good as it did yesterday. I spun twice in special stage number 15, and in special stage number 18 I spun again. The phlegmatic Finn could not counter the heavy attack from Markko M?rtin, who started the day seventh, and took over Toni's sixth place after special stage number 15.
But all in all Toni was satisfied with his performance and that of the car, saying: "I am happy with the result of this rally. It was difficult for me because I usually perform better on fast rallies. But I have collected some points again for myself and for Skoda Auto. This is very motivating. The result would not have been possible without this incredibly sturdy car. It is amazing how the Octavia WRC stood up against the battering of the past three days. I have had no major problems, apart from a bent suspension arm."
Petr Kohoutek, Director of Motorsport at Skoda Auto, explained today's strategy, saying: "It was useless to attack aggressively today. Panizzi was too far ahead. We wanted to bring the car home and collect points. I am very happy with the result. We have scored points consistently on all rallies this year. This makes me feel that we are developing the team in the right direction, and that we have made progress again with the Octavia WRC."
Before leaving the service park for the last time in Turkey, on his way to the podium ceremony, Toni looked ahead saying:" Skoda Motorsport has scored a ninth position in Monte Carlo, an eighth position in Sweden, and now a seventh place in Turkey. I am looking forward already to New Zealand."
Next World Championship Rally: Propecia Rally New Zealand, April 11 -- 13, 2003.