Argentina: M-Sport Focus final summary

AW Rally Team Final Placing: 11th overall Driver: Antony Warmbold (D) Co driver: Gemma Price (GB) Vehicle: Y3 FMC (Ford Focus WRC02) Tyres: Michelin Leg One: Antony Warmbold and Gemma Price...

AW Rally Team
Final Placing: 11th overall
Driver: Antony Warmbold (D)
Co driver: Gemma Price (GB)
Vehicle: Y3 FMC (Ford Focus WRC02)
Tyres: Michelin

Leg One: Antony Warmbold and Gemma Price were cautiously optimistic about their Rally Argentina debut, the young German confident that with the correct set up their Ford Focus RS WRC would cope well in the rough conditions. "Although this is our first time here, we had a successful recce, working hard on completing our notes and getting a good feel for the conditions that we would face over the weekend," said Warmbold. With the aim to complete the rally and earn valuable experience on the stages, the duo used Leg One to ensure their Focus was set correctly for the rocky surface, working with different diff and damper settings to ensure the car handled at its best. They enjoyed a trouble free day, with their only 'hiccup' a spin on SS5 when they had difficulty restarting the car, stalling it twice and losing over a minute, however managed to get back into a good rhythm, completing Leg One 13th overall.

Leg Two: Leg Two proved to be a frustrating day for all competitors, with the first two stages, SS14 and SS15 closed due to the numbers of spectators. However when arriving at the start of SS16, Warmbold noticed a problem with the alternator and was forced to turn off every possible electrical component in his Ford Focus in order to save as much power as possible in order to keep the car powered sufficiently to not only complete the stage but the following road section back to service. "Basically all that we left on were the window wipers because of a water splash in the stage. A battery in a rally car is much smaller than in a road car, so to keep our power usage to a minimum we used manual throttle, turned off the fans, water pumps, two of the fuel lift pumps, the dash, even the intercom -- so had to complete the stage with no notes at all," he said. "Unfortunately we had a slow time, as we were in manual and without notes. It was important that we took a very cautious approach to the stage, and I had to rely on my memory of our two recce runs in order to get through which was very difficult -- we were pleased to see the end of it!" Warmbold managed to complete the road section with enough power to check into the in-control and on through to service. During the last stage of the day he encountered gearbox problems, however managed to complete the Leg and into service where his team changed the gearbox in less than15 minutes -- the fastest time in which they've ever changed a gearbox. Warmbold completed Leg Two 14th overall.

Leg Three: Putting the troubles of the previous days behind him, Warmbold was happy with the day's opening stages. "I feel we are now getting more from the Focus. I have been working with my engineer and technicians over the weekend to find a good set up for the car and we now have it working incredibly well. We seem to have thankfully put the bad luck of the past two days behind us and we are working hard on improving our times -- and we are delighted to see we are making progress," he said. "This rally has been fairly tough on us, but we have learnt a lot about the car this weekend and we are beginning to settle into a good routine. We came here to complete the stage miles and we are very pleased to have done that and built up a good base to work from for next year. Our experiences here in Argentina will be very valuable for our next two rallies which are on a similar surface, and we are looking forward to continuing our first World Rally Championship season at the Acropolis Rally next month," he said.

-ford msport-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Gemma Price , Antony Warmbold
Teams M-Sport