Tour de Corse: M-Sport Focus final summary

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Car # 22 Final placing 14th overall
AW Rally Team
Driver: Antony Warmbold (D)
Co driver: Gemma Price (GB)
Vehicle: Y3 FMC (Ford Focus WRC02)
Tyres: Michelin

Leg One: Warmbold had a virtually trouble free day, with the exception of a slight understeer problem. "It's mainly on the faster 4th and 5th gear corners, where we're losing grip as we go in and are forced to either slow right down or run out of road. We are working hard to identify and solve the problem with our engineer and hope that we can get to the bottom of it," he said. Otherwise the duo were happy with their start to the Rallye de France -- Tour de Corse. "The Focus is going very well and we made some real progress during our short test last weekend. The recce was good and as a result we are delighted with how well our notes are working and we're looking forward to a good run tomorrow," he said. Warmbold completed Leg One 18th overall.

Leg Two: Intermittent rain caused havoc for many on Leg Two, with unpredictable conditions during the entire day. "When the conditions are so patchy you can't afford to be going too fast as there's always a corner waiting to catch you out. Overall we have had a great day. We are more confident, have had clean runs and have stayed out of trouble. It is very tricky out there, everyone is having incidents and it's very changeable -- dry, wet, dirty, humid, patchy -- people are cutting a lot and we have to follow the line to stay out of the mud. We were just 2 seconds a km off Sainz this afternoon, which I'm very happy with, especially when you consider his vast experience, his car and that he's pushing to win the event," he said. Warmbold finished the day 15th overall.

Leg Three: The weather remained unpredictable, with tyre choice becoming the lottery of the day. "We went on slicks this morning, but unfortunately with occasional showers in the stage did not end up being the best choice. At one hairpin we had no grip at all and ended up spinning but thankfully managed to stay on the road. This afternoon we went for intermediates as we want to cross the finish line, and as it's our first time here we are better to be safe rather than take any risk. This weekend has been a great learning curve for me as we have learned something new every time we have been out and I am very happy with the progress we have made. The Focus has been fantastic and I am very much looking forward to improving on our progress next week in Spain," he said. Warmbold completed the Rallye de France -- Tour de Corse in 14th overall.

Car # 35
Final Placing DNF
ADR Motorsport
Driver: Alistair Ginley (GB)
Co Driver: Rory Kennedy (I)
Vehicle: EJ02 KMO (Ford Focus RS WRC01)
Tyres: Pirelli
Sponsors: Carella, Pirelli

Leg One: Back in his Ford Focus for the first time in two months, Ginley made a steady start to Leg One, however towards the end of the SS2 the cockpit of the car filled with thick smoke. "It was unbelievable. We could hardly see a thing and Rory couldn't read the notes for coughing, so the last four kms were very difficult. By the time we had cleared the stage the smoke had also cleared and we later tracked the problem to the nylon string of the gear lever gaitor which had ignited on the exhaust," he said. During the repeat run through the day's three stages, Ginley lost power steering in the middle of SS5 and had to drive the remainder of that and the following stage with no power steering. "With more than a thousand corners it was an unexpected and unwelcome work out! Thankfully the road was wide enough so that those behind could get past us, but there was one tight right hand hairpin where we had to stop and have a few goes at it as the car would not physically turn the corner," he said. A frustrated Ginley lost four minutes as a result and completed Leg One 37th overall.

Leg Two: Unfortunately SS7 was to be the last stage of the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse for Ginley when his engine blew four kilometres from the finish line. "Obviously we're disappointed, it was a real stroke of bad luck. All we can do now is to think ahead to Catalunya and prepare ourselves for that," he said. The team has stripped their Ford Focus this weekend in preparation for installing a new engine when they arrive in Spain early next week.

Next event: Rally Catalunya -- Costa Brava 23 -- 26 October 2003

Both Antony Warmbold & Gemma Price and Alistair Ginley & Rory Kennedy will compete in the Rally Catalunya -- Costa Brava next weekend. The event is new to both teams, who will travel straight to Vic tomorrow (Monday 20 October) to prepare for the recce on Tuesday.

Alistair Ginley says he has no idea what to expect from the Spanish Stages. "While we did not complete the rally in Corsica, we are pleased that it gave us a chance to reaquaint ourselves with the Focus after a two month break. We are looking forward to heading straight to the Catalunya recce and concentrating on our notes for next weekend, while the team install our new engine," he said.

Warmbold, happy with his Corsican debut, says he has a good base from which to start next weekend. "The car has been brilliant and we have been able to fine tune our set-up for Catalunya. We are expecting the Spanish roads to be better in a sense as we hear there is much less cutting on the new Catalunya stages so we are hoping the roads will be a lot cleaner," he said.


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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Alistair Ginley , Gemma Price , Antony Warmbold , Rory Kennedy
Teams M-Sport