ERC: Round seven, Madeira preview

There is an impressive lineup for the 7th round of the European Rally Championships, which takes place in Madeira at the end of this week--..31st July to 2nd August 2003. Rali Vinho da Madeira has gathered 3 European champions and two other...

There is an impressive lineup for the 7th round of the European Rally Championships, which takes place in Madeira at the end of this week--..31st July to 2nd August 2003. Rali Vinho da Madeira has gathered 3 European champions and two other drivers with a wealth of World Championship experience, to challenge the three main contenders for this year's European crown.

The reigning champion, Renato Travaglia, will be driving a Peugeot 206 WRC and he is joined by Henrik Lundgaard, Ford Focus WRC, who won the title in 2000. Patrick Snijers from Belgium who took the honours in 1994 will be competing in a Subaru WRC.

Francois Delecour, who was second in the World Championships in 1993, will be driving a Peugeot 206 WRC and Manfred Stohl who was World Championship Gr.N Cup winner in 2000, will be driving a Ford Focus WRC. They are formidable opponents for the current leader in the championships Bruno Thiry, second placed Miguel Campos and Evgeny Vasin, who are all driving Peugeot 206 WRC`s.

The 80 teams who have entered the 3 day rally begin with a super special in Funchal on Thursday evening and this always attracts a large and enthusiastic crowd. There are 10 stages on Friday and 11 on Saturday, with the winning teams taking the podium at 1920 hrs.

Local hero Miguel Campos is aiming to go one better than last year when he was 2nd in this event. With just 4 more coefficient 20 rallies remaining, points are at a premium, he is desperate to retake the lead and what better place than at his home event.

For Bruno Thiry, who won this rally in 1999, it will be his 6th time in Madeira and he clearly relishes the idea of defending his 40 point lead, at a rally he knows so well.

The Itera backed Russian driver Evgeny Vasin, who has had a disappointing season so far, will also be hunting for points, so the scene is set for what could be the best European Championship rally of the year.

-eur-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Miguel Campos , François Delecour , Henrik Lundgaard , Manfred Stohl , Renato Travaglia