Portuguese roads take their toll... The remaining C2 Junior experience competitors woke up for the second day of the Rally Portugal, round two of this year's Junior Rally Championship, to see heavy rain that made the complex stages even more ...
Portuguese roads take their toll...
The remaining C2 Junior experience competitors woke up for the second day of the Rally Portugal, round two of this year's Junior Rally Championship, to see heavy rain that made the complex stages even more slippery. After the longest day of the Rally Portugal, Irishman Shaun Gallagher is the surprise leader of the Citroen contingent. His C2-R2 outlasted the more powerful C2 Super 1600 of Conrad Rautenbach, who stopped with a broken driveshaft on the first stage of the morning. Also on the sidelines of this extremely tough rally are Citroen C2-R2 drivers Stefano Benoni and Gilles Schammel who both went off the road this morning: Benoni on the first stage and Schammel on the second. The cars are currently awaiting recovery and a decision as to whether or not they can re-start tomorrow. The C2 Super 1600 of Martin Prokop did not re-start today after a high- speed roll on the opening leg yesterday that damaged the car considerably.
Raphael Auquier (B) Cedric Pirotte (B) (Citroen C2-R2)
"Luckily the rain was not too bad for me this morning, and when I came through the stages they were mostly dry and sunny. We had quite a good run : in fact we were catching up the car in front of us on nearly all the stages this morning. This afternoon was more tricky for us: we had a puncture 15 kilometres before the end of SS12 and decided to drive on to the finish. We thought about changing the tyre briefly, but it was the right decision to continue. If we had changed the tyre we would have lost about three minutes; as it was we lost less than two minutes. I'm not happy with the handling of the car though: I think we must have touched something earlier that affected the suspension geometry. "
Shaun Gallagher (IRL) Clive Jenkins (GB) (Citroen C2-R2)
"We had a real drama this morning: when we got to the car in parc ferme we discovered that we had lost the key! Eventually we had to hot-wire the system so we could drive the car without the key but we left service three minutes late and picked up a 30 second road penalty. When we hot- wired the system it affected the windscreen wipers, so they were permanently on this morning. Then we broke the gear linkage as well, so we had real problems selecting gears. Thankfully all these things were fixed at service and we had a much better time in the afternoon. I feel quite tired: this is a very physical rally and it's not been an easy day... "
Conrad Rautenbach (ZW) David Senior (GB) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
"After quite a dramatic day yesterday, we were looking forward to everything being a bit quieter today, but unfortunately the driveshaft broke on the first stage this morning. We tried to continue but then we got to quite a large hill and there was no way we could get up it. So rather than do any more damage, we decided to cut our losses and retire from the leg. Our plan is to come back on the final day to try and set some good times. The gaps are too big to really hope for points, but you never know... "
Dominique Rebout (F) Isabelle Galmiche (F) (Citroen C2-R2)
"I've ended the day just one second per kilometre off the pace of Shaun Gallagher, who is a good reference for me as he is an experienced driver. So I think my pace is getting better, but it is still far from perfect! The first stage this morning was a disaster: I had no confidence at all in the wet conditions on gravel, and I was very pleased to see the finish. From there it got easier as the roads got drier: this is a fantastic experience for me and I feel very lucky to be doing it. "