BFGOODRICH DRIVERS TEAM Miguel Campos (Peugeot/BFGoodrich) ends Leg 1 in the top-ten Miguel Campos, winner of the BFGoodrich Drivers Team operation for the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, completed the opening leg of his home...
BFGOODRICH DRIVERS TEAM
Miguel Campos (Peugeot/BFGoodrich) ends Leg 1 in the top-ten
Miguel Campos, winner of the BFGoodrich Drivers Team operation for the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, completed the opening leg of his home event in 10th position at the wheel of his Peugeot 207 S2000, ahead of the 2002 Junior World Champion Dani Sola and just 2.7 seconds behind the 2006 European Rally Championship Giandomenico Basso.
Thursday evening saw thousands of fans turn out to line the streets of Faro to cheer on competitors on the 2007 Vodafone Rally de Portugal, with a particular ovation for the crew of the N16 Peugeot 207 BFGoodrich, Miguel Campos and Paulo Babo. Making his return to active competition after a two-year absence, the driver selected to represent the BFGoodrich Drivers Team on this event finished just 3.6s adrift of Italy's Luca Rossetti, winner of the recent Istanbul Rally.
"I couldn't wait to be at the start of this evening's stage," admitted Miguel Campos last night. I didn't take any risks, though, because this evening's 1.3km run through the streets of Faro was only a warm up. It was important to stay focused and keep a cool head. The real rally begins tomorrow."
Serious business effectively kicked off this morning in the hills of the Algarve with a menu of three stages before the lunchtime service break. Driving the N16 car after being chosen from a shortlist of 48 candidates by the Portuguese motor sport governing body, a panel of journalists, BFGoodrich and Kronos Racing, Campos profited from stages swept clear by the cars running ahead of him on the road to claim the eighth fastest time on Loule (SS2, 19.89km). On SS4, however, he was caught in the dust of a competitor running ahead of him which lost him a good minute, although he still figured in 13th place.
Rain started to fall as drivers at the service park in the Algarve Stadium began thinking about tyre choices for the afternoon's loop of three stages (58km). However, the available weather information suggested that the stages to the north near Vascao were still dry.
Bearing in mind that the conditions had most likely deteriorated following the morning's pass, Miguel Campos opted for hard compound BFGoodrich g-Force Gravels. His choice paid off since the BFGoodrich Drivers Team representative succeeded in moving three places up the leaderboard to end Friday in 10th place, giving him an ideal position on the road for the last day's six stages.
Jacques Morelli (BFGoodrich IRC Programme Manager)
"Miguel has put in just the sort of applied and consistent performance we were expecting of him. He kept his head when things went against him, as on SS4 when he was handicapped by the dust thrown up by another competitor, and then when he came across rain on SS5."
Marc Van Dalen (Team Manager, Kronos Racing)
"Miguel quickly found his marks and he is making progress with every stage. The profile of the rally will be different tomorrow and our objective is to finish in the top eight which would be in the points. The Peugeot 207 is very popular and the operation is already a success--"