Even though, it's easy to believe that, moralized by the win at the Povoa de Varzim, consequently putting him at the lead of the Championship, the blue & silver 206 WRC driver will maintain the lead on his Peugeot 206 WRC as proved last season...
Even though, it's easy to believe that, moralized by the win at the Povoa de Varzim, consequently putting him at the lead of the Championship, the blue & silver 206 WRC driver will maintain the lead on his Peugeot 206 WRC as proved last season by numerous victories throughout the championship.
Peugeot Total Silver Team SG Team Manager, Carlos Barros keeps the team working non-stop: "Since the last rally, we had an enormous work load to modify the 206 WRC for gravel conditions and simultaneously working ahead of our selves in order to prepare for the Catalunha Rally (20th to 24th of March), therefore, we had little or no time to actually run the test over so Miguel could adapt to the 206 WRC".
On Peugeot's participation in the upcoming Rali FC Porto, Carlos Barros explains: "Nobody can doubt that the Peugeot Total Silver Team SG is on a winning streak. I believe this event will be quite tactical and throughout the rally, we'll adapt our race strategy to that of the Ford Team. Miguel is calm and hopping. He should not worry about winning, but rather with the gathering of some precious points in order to maintain his lead in the Championship. I foresee some caution on Madeira side, since his last win was in May of 2001 in the Oliveira do Hospital rally and he hasn't yet scored this season, so it is only natural that the Team plays safely and will not risk. With short stages, we will naturally have a sprint event, hopping that external factors will not influence the fight for the lead" pointed out Peugeot'sTeam Manager.
Similar to what was witnessed at the opening event of the National Championship, we hope to watch an interesting struggle between the Peugeot and Ford Teams, hopping, unlike the sequence of events in the Povoa do Varzim rally, that none of the WRC's back down.
Peugeot and Miguel Campos seek to maintain the lead
Rali F. C. Porto brings machines for the sole time in 2002
Having the cutting edge in the last couple of months, and in particular of being the third time in a row to win the starting rally of the national Championship - Rali Casino da Póvoa - the Peugeot Total Silver Team SG bets on another victory in the upcoming Rali Futebol Clube do Porto, the second event of the National Championship 2002, to be run next weekend in the region of Fafe. The rally is run on a total of 137,54 kilometers of sprint, divided into 12 special stages.
This will be the first event run on gravel conditions, only adding pressure to the Peugeot Total Silver Team Sg pair, Miguel Campos/Carlos Magalhães, driving for the first time his Peugeot 206 WRC through the gravel. Besides this challenge, young Miguel Campos has other difficulties his way, since the last time the Portuguese driver rode these roads was in March of the year 2000, due to his absentness in both this event and in the Rally de Portugal. Unlike Campos, Ford Focus WRC rival, Rui Madeira triumphed in both the events, giving Madeira an advantage point.
"Last week we ran a first but short (30 Km) adaptation of the Peugeot to the gravel roads, even though the location enabled us just the mere first impressions. It was enough to understand the car's potential, but I am far from reaching its limits. We still might have one more opportunity to test before the event. In that case, we will try the car out in Fafe, on a similar route to the rally where I'll be able to work on the set up, although I must be careful not to risk a spin", explained Miguel Campos, who ended all his last seven events either in first or in second.
"I'm quite curious to see how the Ford will react to the gravel using the same tires as Peugeot. Although it's my premier on gravel with the Peugeot 206 WRC, I believe the victory is at arms length. In truth, the challenge will not be an easy one, but I'm counting on Madeira's need to score to balance out the fight. I guess he'll try to get ahead during the initial part of the rally while I'm still busy "getting to know" the car. You can expect the best from me, but I'm realistic and will run at a rhythm that is at my reach without risking", remarked Campos, quite aware of the tough job he must perform due to his limited knowledge of both the car's adaptation and of the event itself.