Final Placing: DNF
AW Rally Team
Driver: Antony Warmbold (D)
Co driver: Gemma Price (GB)
Vehicle: Y3 FMC (Ford Focus WRC02)
Leg One: Aware that the conditions would prove tougher and the temperatures higher than the Acropolis Rally, Warmbold trialed an air-conditioning system during the Cyprus Rally shakedown. However this did not provide enough cool air during the stage, so the duo opted for covering the roof of their Ford Focus RS WRC02 with aluminium tape, which dropped the car cockpit temperature about 5C. "The heat was almost the least of our worries as the conditions were even worse than we expected -- on one stage we came around a corner to find a stone the size of a wheel sitting in the middle of the road and even now I'm not sure how I made it around it. We had two punctures in SS2, one which shredded the right front tire completely, but we didn't even notice as the roads were so rough it made no difference to the way the car drove," However their rally nearly came to an end on the road section following the afternoon's two stages due to fuel pressure problems. "The car would do about 7km before stopping, so we had to jack up the rear so the fuel could drain into the tank. This only lifted the pressure enough for about another 7kms, so we had a very frustrating liaison section back to service. At one stop we found pieces of wood on the side of the road which we put under the jack to get extra height -- and therefore extra fuel -- so it was a relief to get back to the service park," he said. Warmbold finished Leg One 17th overall.
Leg Two: Despite a steady run through the first two stages of the day, resulting in the duo lying 12th overall, their rally ended at the start of SS7. "The heat was intense and unfortunately caused our fuel to heat which caused a vaporisation problem. The engine was only receiving enough fuel to go for very short distances and we were forced to retire, as there was not enough road section between the stages to allow it to cool enough to complete a further stage. It is very disappointing as this is the first retirement for me this season, however I knew that the car would not get through SS7 without stopping and as it was such a narrow, twisting stage, I did not want to block it and disrupt those competing in Group N," he said.