Tough Point for 05 Fabia Debut Armin Schwarz and Jani Paasonen ended Rally Mexico in ninth and 13th places respectively. The Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team's newly homologated Fabia WRC 05 showed its improved potential but the event proved...
Tough Point for 05 Fabia Debut
Armin Schwarz and Jani Paasonen ended Rally Mexico in ninth and 13th places respectively. The Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team's newly homologated Fabia WRC 05 showed its improved potential but the event proved difficult as the team had no previous knowledge of the demanding conditions that caused problems even before the start of the rally.
After damaging his sump on the shakedown test (along with many others), the team had to fit a new engine to Jani's Fabia WRC 05 but his event was short-lived after he crashed on the second stage having set sixth fastest time on the first test. He was able to rejoin for the second and third legs and he set several top eight times but the accident cost him any chance of a good result.
Armin struggled to find the confidence necessary to really attack the stages and running third on the slippery roads of the second day added to his problems. However the reliability of the new car ensured that he was able to end the event in the top 10 and gain another manufacturers' championship point.
The World Rally Championship now heads for round four in New Zealand (April 8-10).
Armin Schwarz: "Our target today was simply to reach the finish safely and be in the points. It was a difficult rally and I was happier with the car's performance than mine."
Jani Paasonen: "We lost the automatic gear-shift on the final stage and we also hit a cow that had been frightened by a helicopter. The car felt better this morning but I am disappointed with my result here after starting so well on the first stage on Friday."
Martin Muehlmeier (Head of Škoda Motorsport): "I'm happy that we had no major technical problems associated with the new car but we must find more speed if we are to get the results we are seeking."