The Portuguese rally series is back. Lisbon (Portugal), May 14, 2002 - After almost three months of an unwanted stop and several uncertainties as to its schedule and shape, the Portuguese Rally Championship will now resume, through the hands ...
The Portuguese rally series is back.
Lisbon (Portugal), May 14, 2002 - After almost three months of an unwanted stop and several uncertainties as to its schedule and shape, the Portuguese Rally Championship will now resume, through the hands of Clube Automóvel do Centro who will race the Figueira da Foz Rally this weekend.
With it, also Ford Galp Energia Racing team will end up with a long fast-period that did not bring anything good. "So it is, as this long stoppage had no benefits for anyone. We, as drivers, lost some of our momentum, while Ford and its Dealer Network and Galp Energia, as well as all our other sponsors and supporters lost impact, the Rally of Portugal lost its international link and, due to all the stories around it and around its organizer ACP Sport, lost some credibility. All in all, the rallies lost a lot with all this", said Rui Madeira. "It is up to us all now to row against the tide and put the Portuguese rallies back to the place they belong, recovering from this mishap".
As far as what the CAC event is concerned, it recovers Figueira da Foz on its name and rally headquarters, Ford's drivers have already ended the official special stages recees session. "The CAC was able to arrange an almost completely new event, very interesting, with slow, fast and very fast sections", said the driver. "Except for the final part of Góis SS, used on previous Rally of Portugal editions and other parts now run opposite to what it was used or run some years ago, almost everything is new, so this became an unknown rally for everyone". As for goals, "as we haven't scored any point so far this year, we have to face this rally aiming to victory, so that's the determination within the team", he said.
Next Thursday the team will run a private and more accurate test to the Ford Focus WRC, plus the official shakedown session on Friday, where the final car's ideal set-up will be chosen for this second gravel event of the season. "We know that we have the best drivers/car/team compromise to get back to victories", said Anabela Correia, Ford Galp Energia Racing Team Manager. "Although unwanted and tempestuous, this long stop was used on the team to think about what, eventually, was less OK. Now that everything is clear, we're ready to get back in business".
The event will start next Friday with a 2.1 km Super Special Stage, to be run next to the city's port authority, plus five other stages - Poiares, Carvalho, Miranda do Corvo/Lousã, Vila Nova do Ceira and Góis/Colmeal - all to be run twice during Saturday. 133.1 km of special stages, included on an overall course of 479,99 km. The Figueira da Foz Rally arrival is due to happen at 20h08 on 25 de Abril Avenue.