A podium place for Ford Galp Energia Racing Figueira da Foz (Portugal), May 18, 2002 - Team Ford Galpenergia Racing has got the 2nd overall position at the Figueira da Foz Rally, the third event of the 2002 Portuguese Rally Championship, making...
A podium place for Ford Galp Energia Racing
Figueira da Foz (Portugal), May 18, 2002 - Team Ford Galpenergia Racing has got the 2nd overall position at the Figueira da Foz Rally, the third event of the 2002 Portuguese Rally Championship, making a return to a podium place and, more important, meaning the end of a series of mishaps that have conditioned the whole first part of the season.
Even if they couldn't quite getting ahead the initial purposes, with a victory ahead of their championship main Peugeot contenders, Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata have scored their first 6 points of the season. "Finally", expressed a truly relieved Rui Madeira at Figueira da Foz, parked in front of the Clube Automóvel do Centro organized rally headquarters. "We couldn't get the 10 points of a victory, but we were able to finish a rally, something that the whole team needed to happen".
To impede a better progression was the marriage of the Michelin tyres and the Focus WRC, a strange situation that wasn't felt at the private testing session held previously to the event. "On that test everything worked quite well, leaving some expectations on how the rally would go. But today, on the morning stages the softer rubbers weren't the correct ones for the stages conditions, so once on the mid-morning service area, we have chosen a set of harder ones", said the driver. "This were considerably more adapted to the stage conditions but, even so, they weren't enough so we could better fight Miguel Campos. Further to that, on the second run through the rally longest stage, the Miranda do Corvo/Lousã 20.5 kms, we felt that the rear was somewhat strange, something that the telemetry couldn't confirm, but that made us to loose some seconds more".
As for the afternoon stages, the Ford Dealer Network and Galp Energia sponsored Ford Focus WRC managed to get two overall best times, one of which on a tie with Miguel Campos. "We made all that we could, leaving the promise of a harder fight for next Rally of Portugal, to be held three weeks from now in Macedo de Cavaleiros region".
Besides the event final position, Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata were satisfied with the result on the 2.1 km of the opening Figueira da Foz Super Special Stage. "We want to dedicate the victory on that stage to all the rally fans, namely the ones from Figueira da Foz that were with us and kept with us on the site, despite the late hours the stage was held, cheering us up and leading us to that result".
Final Classification (provisional): 1st M. Campos/C. Magalhães (Peugeot), on 1h33m44,2s; 2nd Rui Madeira/Fernando Prata (Ford), at 1m26,8s; 3rd A. Araújo/M. Ramalho (Citroën), at 6m37,3s; 4th H. Franco/T. Azevedo (Mitsubishi), at 7m04,3s; 5th V. Lopes/J. Janela (Fiat), at 7m55,9s; 6th J. P. Fontes/N. R. Silva (Fiat), at 8m14,6s (...);
2002 Portuguese Rally Championship (after 3 of 10) - Drivers: 1st M. Campos, 30 pts; 2nd B. Magalhães, 9 pts; 3rd A. Araújo, 8 pts; 4th J. P. Fontes, 7 pts; 5th Rui Madeira, 6 pts; 6th H. Franco, 5 pts; (...) Co-Drivers: 1st C. Magalhães, 30 pts; 2nd P. Grave, 9 pts; 3rd M. Ramalho, 8 pts; 4th N. R. Silva, 7 pts; 5th Fernando Prata, 6 pts; 6th T. Azevedo, 5 pts; (...) Makes: 1st Peugeot, 30 pts; 2nd Mitsubishi, 19 pts; 3rd Fiat, 12 pts; 4th Citroën, 8 pts; 5th Ford, 7 pts.