Marinha Grande, September 23, 2001 - The 2001 edition of the Rota do Vidro Rally has come to an end, an event where Ford Galpenergia Racing team has conquered 4th place overall, one step away from a podium place. "That was not our main objective...
Marinha Grande, September 23, 2001 - The 2001 edition of the Rota do Vidro Rally has come to an end, an event where Ford Galpenergia Racing team has conquered 4th place overall, one step away from a podium place.
"That was not our main objective for the event, but after yesterday's incident one could barely expect more than this, considering the time then lost", said Rui Madeira at the last Service Area, in Pedrogão Grande. "I would like to congratulate the Peugeot team for their excellent result here".
As for today's leg, while covering the first set of three special stages - Sra. da Piedade, Figueiró dos Vinhos and Ribeira de Alge -, once more on wet tarmac, the Ford Focus WRC team got two 4th best times and a 2nd best score.
"We got some scaring situations, namely with some aquaplaning on the first SS, so we could not get any far. As for Ribeira de Alge, a stage with different features from the previous, things went through very well, so we managed to rank 2nd, only 0.8 secs apart from its best score", said the driver.
After lunch, tackling again the same stages, but now over wet tarmac and no rain, Madeira and Prata took nine secs to their morning stage record, another 10 secs on the day's fifth stage. As for Ribeira de Alge 2, they got another 2nd best score, taking 15 secs to the previous run. The day (and the rally) would end with a third visit to Sra. da Piedade and a single run over Aldeia Ana de Avis SS. On this one they managed to be second fastest.
"Everything considered, we managed to get three points for the drivers, co-drivers and manufacturers championships. These can be very important once the year has come to an end. We also took some advantages of the situation for testing some new set-up solutions, which will allow us to face the remaining three rallies with a renewed spirit", he added.
With this result, Ford Galpenergia Racing team drivers kept the 2nd place on the drivers and co-drivers Portuguese Rally Championship, now 11 points apart from Rota do Vidro Rally winners Adruzilo Lopes/Luis Lisboa (Peugeot), an event dominated by their team-fellows Miguel Campos and Carlos Magalhães. As for the Manufacturers Series, Ford now occupies identical position, also 11 points away from the French carmaker.
The 2001 Portuguese Rally Championship will resume within a fortnight with the Casino de Espinho Rally. Here Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata will try another assault to 1st place, at the wheel of their Ford Focus WRC, sponsored by Galpenergia and Ford Dealer Network.
Final Classification (Provisional): 1st A. Lopes/L. Lisboa (Peugeot), 2h16m21.2s; 2nd M. Campos/C. Magalhães (Peugeot), + 16.3s; 3rd P. Chaves/S. Paiva (Toyota), + 2m41.0s; 4th Ford Galpenergia Racing - Rui Madeira/Fernando Prata (Ford Focus WRC), + 5m22.9s + 1m30,0s; 5th P. Silva/M. Castro (Mitsubishi), + 11m16.2s; 6th H. Franco/T. Azevedo (Mitsubishi), + 12m06.1s (...).
2001 Portuguese Rally Championship (after Round 7 of 10) Drivers: 1st A. Lopes, 40 pts; 2nd Rui Madeira, 29 pts; 3rd P. Chaves, 19 pts; 4th M. Campos, 18 pts; 5th T. Laukanen and F. Peres, 10 pts; (...) Co-Drivers: 1st L. Lisboa, 40 pts; 2nd Fernando Prata, 29 pts; 3rd S. Paiva, 19 pts; 4th C. Magalhães, 18 pts; 5th K. Lindstrom and J. Silva, 10 pts;
Manufacturers: 1st Peugeot, 52 pts; 2nd Ford, 41 pts; 3rd Mitsubishi, 35 pts; 4th Subaru, 20 pts; 5th Toyota, 18 pts; 6th Citroën, 9 pts; (...)