Another turbulent day for Red Bull Skoda on the final leg of the seventh WRC event in Sardinia Andreas Aigner (AUT)/Timo Gottschalk (GER) finish 13th overall despite a time penalty of 5 minutes and get two manufacturers' points for the ...
Another turbulent day for Red Bull Skoda on the final leg of the seventh WRC event in Sardinia
Andreas Aigner (AUT)/Timo Gottschalk (GER) finish 13th overall despite a time penalty of 5 minutes and get two manufacturers' points for the team
Finland's Harri Rovanpera/Risto Pietilainen have to retire on SS 15 with a broken transmission, but stay in the classification thanks to SupeRally rules, securing a manufacturers' point
French world champion Sebastien Loeb takes the win in Sardinia, celebrating his fifth victory in a row and his 25th win in the World Rally Championship
In a nutshell, the seventh WRC event of the season did not quite go according to plan for the entire Red Bull Skoda team. Despite rather positive results in testing and the Sardinia shakedown, there were small problems right from the start, team boss Armin Schwarz confirms: "Andreas had two tyre failures in a single stage that diminished his otherwise good performance in his first WRC event on gravel, and Harri never found a good rhythm over the course of the entire rally, even though we continually modified the car in service. The only positive aspect of Sardinia is that we once again managed to fetch some points for the manufacturers' championship. Now the entire team needs to prepare thoroughly for Greece in a fortnight."
Andreas Aigner had quite a decent first gravel rally judging by the times. He made only small mistakes and handled the Fabia WRC so sensibly that service was limited to checkups. The FIA stewards fined the young man from Styria 5,000 Euro for disregarding the official route on yesterday's SS 12 and additionally imposed a five minute time penalty: "I'm glad that I didn't go down the order any further because of that and still managed to get important manufacturers' points. Apart from that I'm rather satisfied with my performance in Sardinia. My WRC gravel debut surely wasn't an easy task, but I'm already looking forward to Greece."
Harri Rovanpera obviously was anything but happy: "On today's SS 14 we suffered from severe transmission problems. I contacted the team management but there was no point in running the remaining four stages as there was no service left today. Subsequently I brought the car back to the Porto Cervo parc ferme in accordance with rally headquarters. My summary of Rally Sardinia is naturally very sobering. Aside from petty little matters which will always cost you time over the course of a rally I simply didn't find any decent rhythm. We also lacked the correct balance, even though the team constantly modified the setup. What a shame, I was totally motivated for a better result. I just hope that Rally Acropolis will be better."
World champion Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) continues to be the measure of all things with his fifth win in a row. The only one who was able to challenge him was Marcus Gronholm (Ford) who had to retire early on the second day while leading.