Funchal, August 4, 2001 - Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata brought a sixth place from Madeira, but in an event so tough like this, the Ford Focus WRC showed it got back to its high liability levels. In the day's first SS of Ribeiro Frio, the rally...
Funchal, August 4, 2001 - Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata brought a sixth place from Madeira, but in an event so tough like this, the Ford Focus WRC showed it got back to its high liability levels.
In the day's first SS of Ribeiro Frio, the rally longest, the Ford Galpenergia Racing drivers established a 9th best score, a result that would also achieve on the next stage, although loosing substantially less time. But on the next section of the rally, on the first go around the Paúl, Santa and Rosário stages, Madeira and Prata saw their hopes of getting a better result on the rally go down the drain. Their main opponents, namely Miguel Campos (Peugeot), have gone faster, making the Ford Focus WRC to loose a place on the overall ranking.
"In fact, Campos is running very well and it's impossible to match his pace, as it is for Adruzilo Lopes' one. We'll now try to secure our position", said Madeira at the Service Area of Ribeira Brava.
But, after lunch, while repeating these same three stages, it was Henrik Lundgaard (Toyota) who would overcome Ford's team, although in terms of points for the Portuguese Rally Championship that became a lesser prejudice, as the Priority A FIA drivers do not steal points from the local drivers.
For that matter also counted "the small problem we have experienced on SS21 with the power steering, promptly repaired at the next service area", said the driver. "We did not manage to get as many points as we expected, as our tires, although being at an interesting stage of evolution, still do not match very well together with our car on tarmac. Nevertheless, there are still four rounds of the championship to go and Pirelli and M-Sport will keep on working together, so one can be back fighting for the series titles".
In fact, with this result, Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata are now 2nd on the Drivers and Co-Drivers series, four points apart from the new leaders and winners of the Vinho Madeira rally, Adruzilo Lopes and Luis Lisboa. As for the Manufacturers Championship, Ford keeps the lead, now with an advantage two points over Peugeot.
Final Classification (Provisional): 1st A. Lopes/L. Lisboa (Peugeot), 2h53m30.1s; 2nd M. Campos/C. Magalhães (Peugeot), + 1m23.0s; 3rd P. Liatti/C. Cassina (Subaru), + 1m29.9s; 4th A. Aghini/A. Materazzetti (Subaru), + 1m30,0s; 5th H. Lundgaard/J. C. Anker (Toyota), + 1m34,4s; 6th Ford Galpenergia Racing - Rui Madeira/Fernando Prata (Ford Focus WRC), + 2m01,1s (...).
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 T Laukanen and F Peres, 10 pts; 6th H Franco, 8 pts; (...)
Co-Drivers: 1st L Lisboa, 30 pts; 2nd Fernando Prata, 26 pts; 3rd S Paiva, 15 pts; 4th K Lindstrom and J Silva, 10 pts; 6th M Castro and D Costa, 7 pts; (...)
Manufacturers: 1st Ford, 38 pts; 2nd Peugeot, 36 pts; 3rd Mitsubishi, 32 pts; 4th Subaru, 20 pts; 5th Toyota, 14 pts; 6th Citroen, 9 pts; (...)