Distributed on behalf of FERM Power Tools World Rally Team
Point-scoring debut for Dennis Kuipers and the FERM World Rally Team
The FERM Power Tools World Rally Team has made a points debut in the opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Sweden this weekend, despite only testing the all-new Ford Fiesta RS WRC for 75 km.
In one of the coldest editions of Rally Sweden in recent history, Dennis Kuipers and co-driver Frederic Miclotte finished a credible 13th overall. The team finished eighth in the Manufacturers' championship.
Rally Sweden has been known for decades as a rally for snow specialists. This was more than ever the case for the 2011 edition - the snow showers in the nights before the opening day made the conditions unpredictable.
Kuipers changed his strategy to adapt to the new conditions as the FERM World Rally Team driver chose to gain experience with the Ford Fiesta RS WRC. "This is only my second rally in Sweden and, as a Dutchman, I can never outweigh the driving experience on snow and ice from many of my Scandinavian colleagues," said Kuipers.
Despite problems with the turbo, the opening day finished with Kuipers in 17th place. Saturday's following nine tests were trouble-free for the Dutch-Belgian duo and they crept up the WRC leaderboard to end the day in13th position.
The final six stages on Sunday consolidated this position. The FERM World Rally Team
scored the first points ever on its debut rally - the first time ever for a Dutch team to score points in the WRC.
"I am very satisfied with how the rally has gone", Kuipers told at the closing ceremony in Karlstad. "It is great that we have been able to score points in the Manufacturers' championship and I have gained very valuable experience with the new car. I can only say that my mission was successful and I am looking forward to the next WRC round in Mexico later this month."