Ford gets a place within the Top 10 Funchal, August 2, 2001 - Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata's Ford Galpenergia Racing Focus WRC got the 10th fastest time on the opening Special Stage of this year's Vinho Madeira Rally, the 6th round of the 2001...
Ford gets a place within the Top 10
Funchal, August 2, 2001 - Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata's Ford Galpenergia Racing Focus WRC got the 10th fastest time on the opening Special Stage of this year's Vinho Madeira Rally, the 6th round of the 2001 Portuguese Rally Championship.
The numerous fans present throughout the 2.05 km of the Avenida do Mar stage had what one might call the first taste of a rally that is predicted to be both very tough and competitive. But that toughness will only start tomorrow, when the drivers face the first 37 km of the four opening day stages. "That's true", said Rui Madeira. "Stages like this one we've just run at the very start of a rally are only good for spectators purposes and to confirm the validity of some of the car's set-up solutions, although one is always pleased, once it has come to an end, to see one's time among the 10 fastest".
As for the slight disadvantage of 3.2 seconds got by the Focus WRC with the Galpenergia and Ford Dealer Network livery, that's no problem. "As we have recently said, the team would like very much to win the Vinho Madeira Rally, as all of us believe that the car is perfectly capable to achieve that feat. But we are also aware of what our main opponents are able to and one has to think at the championship too, as may of the teams can steal us points".
Madeira and Prata reached 10th place overall, while Germany's Armin Kremer (Toyota) got the stage's fastest time, with 1 minute and 27.2 secs. As for Ford driver main contenders in the Portuguese Rally Championship, Adruzilo Lopes (Peugeot) was 7th, 0.7 secs apart from him, while Pedro Matos Chaves (Toyota) granted 2nd best, having an advantage of 2.9 secs.
Tomorrow (Friday) the drivers will tackle the other 15 stages of Leg 1, on 147.68 km against the clock. The departure from Funchal (SIFEC) is scheduled to 8h27 to the first car on the road, while the return to that same place is set to happen at 21h34.