Casino da PÃ³voa Rally An early retirement at the opening round PÃ³voa de Varzim (Portugal), February 9, 2002 - Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata didn't have time to catch the rhythm on this year's edition of the Casino da PÃ³voa Rally, the first...
Casino da Póvoa Rally
An early retirement at the opening round
Póvoa de Varzim (Portugal), February 9, 2002 - Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata didn't have time to catch the rhythm on this year's edition of the Casino da Póvoa Rally, the first round of the Portuguese Rally Championship, as the Ford Galp Energia Racing team was forced to retire at the event's 3rd Special Stage.
After the day before careful pace set at Póvoa do Varzim town's SuperSpecial Stage - where they were 3rd overall - the Ford Focus WRC team mates set a fastest pace at the rally decisive day, starting their battle for the lead.
Due to the relative uncertainty around the stages surface conditions, the right bet on the right tires became a must as a grant for setting the best times on the morning stages, where the night's mist and foggy conditions was joined with a very light rain. So it was almost a lottery to have the perfect options at this sensitive issue.
Starting on slick tires with cuts for the day's first round of special stages on the Targa Clube organized rally, the team Madeira/Prata began the day by setting the second fastest time on SS2, 6.6 secs apart from the winner. Then, on SS3, they would face the retirement.
"It was everything running quite well, when suddenly, on a right corner, the car slid backwards into a small ditch, then fell sideways and gently rolled over a bed of bushes", said Madeira. "There's almost no damage at all on the Focus, although we could not get back into the road as it stood on a position from which it would only came out with external help".
In terms of championship, "it's true we didn't score a point here, but the year has just started, with nine more rallies to go. Now we'll have four gravel events, a surface that I enjoy more and where we'll be able to better explore the Ford Focus WRC capacities, so we'll try to reach victory and start recovering the points that we've now lost".
The next rendez-vous will take place for early March, at the FC Porto Rally, an event that the Ford Galp Energia Racing team will gamble for a second win in a row, after having made it on last year's edition.
Final Standings (provisional):
1st M. Campos/C. Magalhães (Peugeot), 1h21m29,9s
2nd J. P. Fontes/N. R. Silva (Fiat), + 4m33,5s
3rd G. Castrillon/E. Castrillon (Mitsubishi), + 6m04,2s
4th B. Magalhães/P. Grave (Mitsubishi), + 6m22,4s
5th H. Franco/T. Azevedo (Mitsubishi), + 6m47,6s
6th J. Peres/A. Manuel (Ford), + 7m26,6s (...);
2002 Portuguese Rally Championship (after 1 of 10):
1st M. Campos, 10 pts
2nd J. P. Fontes, 6
3rd G. Castrillon, 4
4th B. Magalhães, 3
5th H. Franco, 2
6th J. Peres, 1
1st C. Magalhães, 10 pts
2nd N. R. Silva, 6
3rd E. Castrillon, 4
4th P. Grave, 3
5th T. Azevedo, 2
6th A. Manuel, 1
1st Peugeot, 10 pts
2nd Mitsubishi, 7
3rd Fiat, 6
4th Ford, 1.