WRC

S-WRC: Wales Rally GB: Red Bull leg 1 summary

SANDELL STRUCK BY BAD LUCK IN BRITAIN Red Bull Super 2000 World Rally Championship driver Patrik Sandell has been hit by bad luck on the opening day of the Rally Great Britain: an event where he has the opportunity of challenging for the Super...

SANDELL STRUCK BY BAD LUCK IN BRITAIN

Red Bull Super 2000 World Rally Championship driver Patrik Sandell has been hit by bad luck on the opening day of the Rally Great Britain: an event where he has the opportunity of challenging for the Super 2000 world title.

However, his chances have taken a blow after he suffered a power-steering failure on the first stage after remote service, SS5, which cost him nearly five minutes over the course of the afternoon.

With so many tight corners, the Swede struggled to keep control of his Skoda Fabia S2000 in a determined fight to the finish of the day's final stage. Luckily Patrik regularly keeps fit in the gym, as he needed every single bit of his strength throughout the three stages in the afternoon.

Sandell ends the day seventh in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship classification, with two days and 13 stages of action still to come. As is often the case in the forests of South Wales conditions were wet and foggy, with the weather progressively worsening throughout the afternoon.

Despite these setbacks, the Swede brought his Skoda Fabia S2000 back in one piece to the service park in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff. The Red Bull-backed Skoda is run by the experienced Baumschlager Rally Racing Team from Austria, which was able to put the car back to perfect condition during the 45-minute evening service halt.

"I lost the power steering completely after about five kilometres on the opening stage after midday service," said Sandell, who already has three previous participations on the Rally Great Britain behind him. "We tried to fill the system up with oil but there was nothing doing: we just had to live with it, but it was really difficult. In the end, there are still two more days to go so we just have to go flat-out now from here to the end of the rally. Hopefully we won't be the only people having problems on this event, as it is a very difficult rally."

Baumschlager, himself a multiple Austrian Rally Champion, commented: "The problem with the power steering was really unlucky, as Patrik showed in the morning that he clearly had the pace to run at the front. But these things unfortunately happen sometimes in rallying, so now we will just fix it and concentrate on the rest of the rally. It seems that there was a problem with a pipe; it should be a very simple job. Patrik is very strong in the head, and I am sure that he will be back and fighting again tomorrow."

The crews leave parc ferme Cardiff tomorrow morning at 0600 for the first of nine special stages, concluding with another run through the spectator superspecial in Cardiff Bay.

-source: red bull

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Series WRC
Drivers Patrik Sandell