ERC: Ford Galpenergia Racing Rota do Vidro Rally preview

Originally-From: "Pinheiro, Jose (J.L.)" <> A truly important rally event for Ford Lisbon, September 17, 2001 - Tomorrow Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata will start the official recons for the forthcoming Rota do Vidro...

Originally-From: "Pinheiro, Jose (J.L.)" <>

A truly important rally event for Ford

Lisbon, September 17, 2001 - Tomorrow Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata will start the official recons for the forthcoming Rota do Vidro Rally, the 7th event of the 2001 Portuguese Rally Championship and the second on tarmac roads.

The drivers will prepare an event that will have a major importance for Ford Galpenergia Racing team, "as it will serve to access the evolution of the Pirelli tarmac tyres since Madeira, as to see if were our main opponents who were better prepared for the specific characteristics of that rally or not", said the driver.

"Following the intensive testing that Pirelli and M-Sport, which represents Ford's interests on WRC, have been performing in the recent past with tarmac tyres, some solutions seem to allow to overcome the majority of the problems that the Ford Focus WRC has had on that specific kind of surface", said Anabela Correia, Director, Ford Galpenergia Racing team.

"As everyone knows, there are two WRC tarmac events coming - Sanremo and Corsica - so it is of everyone's interest for Ford to have the better solutions in terms of tyres, even because we are battling for both drivers and makes championship titles", she added. "The same thing happens in Portugal and one does not want to see a replay of the problems Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata felt with the Ford Focus WRC during the past Madeira Rally."

So, after an almost absolute dominium during the gravel events of this year's Portuguese Rally Championship, the team aims to get the same level of performance on tarmac, so it is interested in granting the best solutions that allow it to discuss victories during the forthcoming events until year-end. "We think that next weekend we're back in business".

As for the Clube Automóvel da Marinha Grande rally event (also counting for the European Rally Championship), to be held during next weekend, it is divided into 2 Legs and 4 Sections. On Leg 1 drivers will tackle 9 Special Stages (135.66 km), while on day two they will face the remaining 8 (89.68 km). In length, this Rota do Vidro Rally has 225,34 km against the clock, of a total of 884,77 km to fulfill.

To Rui Madeira, "this is a very different rally from the Madeira event and so it will allow to clear things up". As for the event itself, "there's a big evolution towards the 2000 edition, so the rally is now more logical, specially in terms of scheduling. It's also a completely different rally from last year's one, as some of the stages are new and other will be run opposite to what we used to. That leaves us more work to be done, as one has to recon all the event and take new pace notes from all stages. But I'm not worried with that extra amount of work".

Following the official recons, the Ford Galpenergia Racing team will make its own test session on Thursday, with the rally car. "As it has become usual throughout the year, this is a session where the drivers can test several tyre mixtures, choosing the best for the event, while at the same time they can adjust the final set-up for the specific characteristics of the rally", said Anabela Correia. "Then, on Friday, during the official shakedown session, one will be able to confirm some of the choices made."

So, at this year's edition of the Rota do Vidro Rally one thing is for sure: Ford Galpenergia Racing team will be back to the battle for the top podium places!

2001 Portuguese Rally Championship (after Round 6 of 10)

Drivers: 1st A Lopes, 30 pts; 2nd Rui Madeira, 26 pts; 3rd P Chaves, 15 pts; 4th M Campos, 12 pts; 5th T Laukanen and F Peres, 10 pts; (...)

Co-Drivers: 1st L Lisboa, 30 pts; 2nd Fernando Prata, 26 pts; 3rd S Paiva, 15 pts; 4th C Magalhães, 12 pts; 5th K Lindstrom and J Silva, 10 pts; (...)

Manufacturers: 1st Ford, 38 pts; 2nd Peugeot, 36 pts; 3rd Mitsubishi, 32 pts; 4th Subaru, 20 pts; 5th Toyota, 14 pts; 6th Citroën, 9 pts; (...)

-Ford Galapenergia Racing

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Rui Madeira , Fernando Prata
Teams Citroën World Rally Team , M-Sport