Antony Warmbold barely misses scoring a Championship point During the Rally of Turkey, the seventh of 15 rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the German Ford driver experienced more downs than ups. Together with his British co-driver ...
Antony Warmbold barely misses scoring a Championship point
During the Rally of Turkey, the seventh of 15 rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the German Ford driver experienced more downs than ups. Together with his British co-driver Michael Orr, the 26-year-old professional rally driver in the privately fielded Ford Focus RS WRC after 17 demanding special stages on gravel roads finished ninth overall, thus barely missing a Championship point.
"It was a difficult rally," reported the German, who is living in Monaco. "Due to heavy rainfalls before the rally, the roads were unusually muddy and slippery. I have never driven on such soapy ground before. On the first leg, Warmbold was merely in 15th place some of the time, but then fought his way up to tenth at the end of the day. "I drove much too cautiously, trying to keep my car on the road in these conditions. Particularly on the first run, this caused me to lose way too much time, on the second run, however, I was able to improve."
"On the second leg, I chose the wrong tyres twice," he says, analysing the situation. "Also, I had a moment of shock when I was driving too quickly through a passage filled with water on the twelfth stage. There was a deep hole in the middle, the water was running into the air intake system, the oil pressure dropped. We had to wait until the water in the intake system had evaporated and we had engine power again. Altogether, this made us lose 45 seconds." But on Saturday, Warmbold saw an upwards trend: "We improved the set-up of my Ford, and I also became more confident, and I was quicker than Roman Kresta on some of the stages."
"It was a rally with ups and downs, particularly on the slippery stretches I was lacking self-confidence, because it feels as though you're driving on ice without studs," the German sums up the experience. "After fighting hard on the first day, things got better and better on the second and third day. Yet I lost a lot of time here because of stupid mistakes." For Antony Warmbold, who ultimately finished ninth overall, this had been the second start in Turkey, after having finished eighth overall and scoring a Championship point last year.
The German's next competition will be the Acropolis Rally (23 - 26 June). The eighth round of the Rally World Championship will also be staged on rough gravel roads. Following his stints in 2001, 2003 and 2004, this will be Antony Warmbold's fourth start in Greece.