MacHale on the Loose in Portugal MacHale World Rally Team duo Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle take to the gravel stages of Rally Portugal this week as the fifth round of the World Rally Championships (WRC) gets underway. "We're really looking ...
MacHale on the Loose in Portugal
MacHale World Rally Team duo Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle take to the gravel stages of Rally Portugal this week as the fifth round of the World Rally Championships (WRC) gets underway.
"We're really looking forward to getting out onto these new stages," said Gareth. "Mexico was a good primer for us on how the car handles on gravel, so we'll use that experience and aim to finish the event as high in the rankings as we can. We're happy how things are going this year, putting in good performances in our three events to date this season and we want to build on that as the season progresses."
The team finished as top privateers on the opening round of the Championships in Monte Carlo, but a broken track arm on Rally Mexico two weeks ago whilst holding a secure 9th overall position in the rankings ruled them out of points contention on that event. They also secured a second place finish in the Galway International Rally in February.
Ten Ford Focus RS WRCs feature on the entry list of over 100 for the event. MacHale and Nagle compete in the car driven to victory in three WRC rounds in the 2006 season by Marcus Grohnholm. The remaining Fords coming from the manufacturers' teams of BP-Ford, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford and Munchi's Ford. Andreas Mikkelsen and Guy Wilks compete in 2005-spec models
The rally is based at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, which was built for the 2004 European Soccer Championships, and which will host the Super Special Stage on Thursday evening.
Competitors will cover just over 1,000 km during the three day event. Formerly a mixed asphalt and gravel rally that covered much of the country, Portugal was named best rally in the championship on six occasions. This year's completely redesigned event will run in the Algarve, an area which has seen little national or international rallying.