Ford Galp Energia Racing report FC Porto Rally

FC Porto Rally Troubled start ends up in retirement Fafe (Portugal), March 2, 2002 - The Ford Galp Energia Racing team quickly wants to forget this edition of the FC Porto Rally, as all the work done during the previous days, preparing for the...

FC Porto Rally
Troubled start ends up in retirement

Fafe (Portugal), March 2, 2002 - The Ford Galp Energia Racing team quickly wants to forget this edition of the FC Porto Rally, as all the work done during the previous days, preparing for the event, the second of the Portuguese Rally Championship, went up in smoke on its very early moments.

After the start in Fafe and while going towards the first rally stage, Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata faced a problem with the hydraulic command of the sequential gearbox. Immediately, they've tried to go manually, an alternative that also gave them some headaches, as the pin which blocks the hydraulic function, activating the mechanic system, did not want to fit in. Although they eventually managed to solve it, the Ford Focus WRC drivers had already loose too much time, arriving late to the Vizo/Cabeçeiras de Basto stage, penalizing 20 secs.

Then, once on the stage, where thin ice, frozen during the night, covered a great part of the gravel tracks, it all happened: at around 3 km before the end of the stage, on a long right corner usually run in 5th gear, the Ford Focus WRC slipped on its four wheels over one of those icy plates, running backwards towards the side bank, immediately breaking the rear suspension, and then hitting the wall with the left front end of the car.

That was the end of the day for the team at this rally, so a comeback to the country championship, aiming for the first championship points, is scheduled for the forthcoming Rally of Portugal/Algarve, to take place beginning April.

-fger-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Rui Madeira , Fernando Prata