Cyprus Rally ends prematurely for Antony Warmbold German Ford driver Antony Warmbold experienced both ups and downs during the Cyprus Rally, the sixth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). Together with his British co-driver Michael Orr...
Cyprus Rally ends prematurely for Antony Warmbold
German Ford driver Antony Warmbold experienced both ups and downs during the Cyprus Rally, the sixth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). Together with his British co-driver Michael Orr the 26-year-old rally driver at the wheel of the Ford Focus RS WRC fielded by a private team had been ranking fifth overall, thus heading for his - so far - best result in the World Rally Championship. His strong performance, however, was stopped prematurely by a technical defect at the end of the second leg.
"The first two legs went very well," says Warmbold, who clocked a total of eight times among the top ten in the rally's first ten special stages. "With the set-up of our Ford Focus RS WRC we've taken another step forwards. The set-up was very good for the extremely stony and rough gravel terrain. And, I learned a lot more, I'm now driving a lot more effectively. Unfortunately, as privateer drivers we do not have the benefit of the latest tyre developments, this is where works drivers, for example, have a clear advantage," he analyses.
At the beginning of the second leg, Warmbold lost time due to a defective stabilizer. "Before the service stop the car was not handling as well as it should have," Warmbold says, who defended his fifth place nevertheless. On the penultimate special stage of the second day, the German was forced to retire: the dust of the gravel terrain had clogged the oil filter. As oil pressure kept dropping, Warmbold had to stop in order to prevent damage to the engine.
Although the third and last leg saw the German starting again, he had to ultimately retire after only ten kilometres on the connecting leg as a result of damage which had been caused by the oil pressure problem on the previous day. "This technical defect was really a shame because we could have achieved a very good result," he says with regret.
Following the good special stage times achieved in Cyprus, Antony Warmbold is looking forward to his next stint in the World Rally Championship with optimism. Together with co-driver Michael Orr he will be contesting the Turkey Rally (3 to 5 June). On the Turkish gravel terrain, with similarly rough and hot conditions as in Cyprus, Warmbold is hoping to benefit from the improvements made to the suspension set-up. In his Turkey debut last year, the German, who lives in Monaco, claimed eighth place and scored one Championship point.