Rallye Monte Carlo - final news The Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team began its 2005 World Rally Championship programme with ninth place for Alex Bengue at the Monte Carlo Rally, a result that brought one Manufacturers Championship...
Rallye Monte Carlo - final news
The Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team began its 2005 World Rally Championship programme with ninth place for Alex Bengue at the Monte Carlo Rally, a result that brought one Manufacturers Championship point.
This was Alexs second Monte Carlo Rally and the first in a WRC car but he showed great pace, especially on the second day when he scored two stage victories. By the finish of the event he had added a third fastest stage time and seven more top 10 results.
Alex restarted this morning under new rules that allowed damaged cars to be repaired and returned to the competition. The Škoda Motorsport mechanics got the Fabia WRC back to Monaco at 0200 this morning and worked flat out to get it ready for the restart after Alex had to stop on the road section after SS9 with a broken wheel.
The World Rally Championship now turns from French asphalt to Swedish snow and one of the fastest events in the championship. Škoda Motorsport will enter three Fabia WRCs on the Swedish Rally (February 11-13) with Finlands Janne Tuohino taking over the second car from Alex Bengue and Audi Sports reigning DTM Champion Mattias Ekström having his first drive in a WRC car in the third Fabia.
The roads today were much more dirty and slippery than yesterday so I could not attack as hard as before. Also spectators had thrown snow onto the road on the Col du Turini and this made it very dangerous on the col and at the start of the downhill section. Overall I am very pleased with this result because we achieved what we set out to do on this rally. We had very good speed in the right conditions but I am sorry to have had the problem on yesterdays final stage. Without it I could possibly have finished fifth or even fourth on this rally.
I am still in quite a lot of discomfort, as you can imagine, but thankfully the injury isnt as bad as it could have been. I will have to wear a cast on my arm for a few more days but then I will discuss with my doctors what the next step will be.
(Head of Škoda Motorsport):
We are very happy to start the season with a World Championship point but a little disappointed that it wasnt more. With the time penalty Alex couldnt achieve the result he deserved and so he sensibly drove safely to secure a finish. We must wait and see what the situation is with Armin. We will be patient for a few days and then decide about Sweden once we have spoken with his doctors but there is no rush to make a decision immediately.