"It was a good rally," German Ford driver Antony Warmbold said, beaming at the finish of the Rally Finland. Although in the tenth round of the World Rally Championship the German, who lives in Monaco, and his British co-driver Michael Orr finished...
"It was a good rally," German Ford driver Antony Warmbold said, beaming at the finish of the Rally Finland. Although in the tenth round of the World Rally Championship the German, who lives in Monaco, and his British co-driver Michael Orr finished merely in 17th place following a defect on the accelerator pedal and an "excursion" off the track, the single times clocked on the ultra-fast special stages around the university town of Jyvaskyla gave Warmbold reason to rejoice.
"The Rally Finland with its extremely wide dirt roads, countless hill-jumps and high speeds driven is very difficult for any driver who is not from Finland," Warmbold reported. This is where experience truly counts." All the more reason for Warmbold to be pleased about the fact that he was able to clock times among the top ten on many of the special stages. "On several stages we were quicker than Roman Kresta, Janne Tuohino, Armin Schwarz and Henning Solberg. We even came up to Toni Gardemeister with as little as a half-second gap," the German said proudly. "This was more than we had expected."
Despite this, the strong performance of the 27-year-old professional rally driver was not rewarded: on the seventh special stage a defective accelerator pedal cost him eleven and a half minutes, Warmbold dropped back from twelfth to 28th place. On the second leg the German and co-driver Michael Orr fought their way forward again to 16th place, but then retired after an excursion off the track. "There was an error in our road-book, we left the track and got stuck in a ditch," Warmbold reported.
Warmbold started again to the third and ultimate leg to finish the rally in 17th place. This is an event you can either love or hate, because the legs are fantastic and incredibly fast. Yet at the same time it's crazy to be driving through the woods at 180 kph," he said.
Antony Warmbold's next stint will be the OMV ADAC Rallye (26 to 28 August). "Before our WRC 'home game' we're going to have a test in Germany," says Warmbold. "For me, the German WRC round will be the first asphalt rally in several months, that's why this test is extremely important for me since it will give me the opportunity to work on the set-up even before the official shakedown on Thursday."