Rally de Portugal
Bad luck for Peter van Merksteijn jr. in WRC Rally Portugal
On the second day of the WRC Rally Portugal, Peter van Merksteijn junior had to retire after technical problems with the Citroën DS3 WRC. In the extremely tough rally through the hills of the Algarve it was a complete battlefield in which most WRC drivers had to face problems with the car or even had to end the rally early.
After a good first day in the Citroén DS3 WRC during the Rally Portugal in which Peter van Merksteijn jr. finished in fourteenth position, he was struck by bad luck on the stages. The first special stage of today, Almodovar, was broadcasted live on Portuguese television. Everybody who had tuned in to RTP2, witnessed the DS3 WRC of Van Merksteijn jr. developing a puncture on the right front wheel and a moment later the tyre came loose from the wheel and came to a rest in the bushes along the special stage. As this happened in the latter part of the stage, Peter jr. decided to drive to the finish of the stage on only three tyres and keep the time damage limited to one and a half minute.
On the next stage, the Van Merksteijn Motorsport driver ran out of luck finishing his day prematurely. Well after driving half of the stage, the DS3 WRC developed a technical problem causing various alarm messages to appear on the display of the car and he could not drive any further. The cause of these messages is not known at this moment but the Citroën Racing engineers are of the opinion that they will be able to fix the car tonight and that Peter jr. and Eddy Chevaillier can take part in the last four stages of the rally on Sunday. The Superally regulations offer crews who had to retire to restart in the rally the following day. For every special stage that the crew did not finish, they will receive a time penalty of 5 minutes on top of the fastest time in their class.
Despite a huge gap towards the front of the field as a result of the Superally regulations, Peter jr. will probably be able to start again Sunday morning and drive the last four stages of the rally. The final stage on Sunday afternoon has been assigned by the organization as a Power Stage and will be broadcasted live on RTP2. On this Power Stage, which will start at 12:52 local time, there will be extra championship points for the top three drivers of this stage.
-source: vm motorsport