WRC

Rally of Turkey: Antony Warmbold preview

Antony Warmbold starts to Rally of Turkey well prepared German Ford driver Antony Warmbold is highly motivated as he starts to the Rally of Turkey, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). Together with his British co-driver ...

Antony Warmbold starts to Rally of Turkey well prepared

German Ford driver Antony Warmbold is highly motivated as he starts to the Rally of Turkey, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). Together with his British co-driver Michael Orr the 26-year-old professional rally driver prepared himself for the event in the shakedown test on Thursday morning.

"In the test we were quicker than our brand colleagues, Roman Kresta and Henning Solberg, and only one second slower than Toni Gardemeister, " Warmbold is pleased to say. "We have taken another step forwards with the set-up of the Ford Focus RS WRC, the car's handling has been improved, and turning into corners is easier now."

For Antony Warmbold this year marks the second start in Turkey. In his 2004 debut, he finished eighth overall to score one Championship point as well as gathering crucial experience on the gravel roads in the hinterland of the tourist resort of Kemer. "This year, the same special stages as in 2004 are on the agenda," explains the German, who inspected the legs during the practice sessions at the beginning of the week. "The organisers have taken great care to prepare the stages very well, the legs are very level and completely free of grooves."

Difficulties on the 17 special stages across a total distance of 348 kilometres, however, might result from the instability of weather conditions. Prior to the rally, Turkey was hit by heavy rain. "In the recce the special stages were muddy, sometimes the ground was as slippery as soft soap," Antony Warmbold reports. "Although there was no rain on Thursday, there is reason to fear that the roads will not completely dry off. This could make for a few surprises during the rally, when you suddenly hit stretches that are still muddy and slippery."

The professional rally racer, who lives in Monaco, is hoping for a points-scoring result. "Our objective is to finish fifth or sixth overall regularly in the near future," he says with a certain amount of caution. "In terms of speed we want to improve a bit more." In his most recent WRC stint at the Cyprus Rally three weeks ago, Warmbold was running in fifth place up to the end of the second leg, but was forced to retire due to a technical defect.

The Rally of Turkey kicks off with a show start on Thursday night at 7 p.m. local time. The first special stage is scheduled to start Friday morning at 7.08 a.m. local time. On Sunday noon, at 12.55, after completing the 17 special stages across the total of 348 kilometres, the teams are expected to cross the finish line at the tourist resort of Kemer.

-www.awarmbold.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Toni Gardemeister , Roman Kresta , Henning Solberg , Michael Orr , Antony Warmbold