Antony Warmbold well set for Sardinia Rally German Ford driver Antony Warmbold is starting to the Sardinia Rally, the fifth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), with optimism. "Prior to the start of the practice session, we had a very...
Antony Warmbold well set for Sardinia Rally
German Ford driver Antony Warmbold is starting to the Sardinia Rally, the fifth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), with optimism. "Prior to the start of the practice session, we had a very good test in Sardinia," says the rally driver, who lives in Monaco. "I drove roughly 110 kilometres and worked out a good setup for the legs across gravel."
During the shakedown test on Thursday, the 26-year-old, together with co-driver Michael Orr (Great Britain), had another opportunity to put some mileage on his Ford Focus RS WRC fielded by M-Sport. "The fastest times in the shakedown test, however, were driven in the morning. We didn't test until later in the day when the track was already marked by deep grooves, which no longer allowed quick times to be achieved," reports Warmbold, who was 14.7 seconds behind Petter Solberg's best time.
After clinching seventh place in the Mexico Rally in mid-March - his best result in the World Rally Championship so far - Antony Warmbold has set his aims higher for the Sardinia Rally. "Although it's extremely hard to predict a result, because the field is very strong here. We're trying to give our very best. Yet I'd be happy if I could finish better than seventh overall," he says.
In 2004 - the first year in which the Sardinia Rally was included in the World Rally Championship - Antony Warmbold claimed eighth place. Nevertheless, many of the 17 special stages across a total distance of 350 kilometres are new to the German. "Compared to last year, the route has been changed," he said after inspecting the special stages during practice. "After the gravel stretches had been extremely rough and slow last year, the organisers have taken great care to improve the special stages. This year, the legs are more similar to those of the former Portugal Rally - not as rough as last year, but somewhat quicker and more flowing."
The Sardinia Rally begins on Thursday with a show start in Porto Rotondo. The first special stage is scheduled to start at 8.53 a.m. on Friday and will finish in Porto Cervo at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday.