WRC A FULL 2016
FIESTA CONTINUES TO LEAD IN POLAND.
M-Sport’s Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta RS WRC continues to be the car to beat at this weekend’s Rally Poland – leading the event in the capable hands of Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder.
2 July 2016
Winning four out of a possible seven stages today, the Estonians have racked up an impressive 21.3 second lead and are on course to secure their first FIA World Rally Championship victory.
With just 59.60 competitive kilometres left to contest, the number 12 Fiesta RS WRC is on the brink of securing M-Sport’s first victory since the 2012 edition of Wales Rally GB.
Elsewhere in the M-Sport World Rally Team, Eric Camilli and Mads Østberg continued their progression through Poland’s notoriously fast and demanding stages.
Under strict instruction from the team to complete all of the stages on what is his first encounter with the event, Camilli was pleasantly surprised with yesterday’s speed and had the better of his vastly more experienced team mate through a number of tests.
Lacking the same confidence in his notes today, the rookie wasn’t able to showcase the same speed but has delivered exactly what was asked of him on only the 13th gravel rally of his entire career.
Having grown accustomed to the speed and commitment required to excel at this event, he and co-driver Benjamin Veillas will be well placed when they return for a second bite of the cherry next season.
Despite being unable to deliver the same stage-winning speed as he did in Sardinia, Østberg made some improvements and had the better of his direct competition through a number of speed tests, but had been hoping for more.
Determined to the last, he and co-driver Ola Fløene won’t give up the fight. Analysing all of the data and onboard videos, they’ll want to bounce back strongly when the championship heads to Rally Finland at the end of the month.
In the WRC 2 category, it was a much better morning for Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry who channelled the success of the Welsh football team to secure three out of a possible three stage victories through this morning’s speed tests.
The afternoon didn’t pan out quite as well, but the pairing secured what looks set to be a second podium in as many weekends when the action draws to a conclusion tomorrow.
QUOTE, END QUOTE
Éric Camilli (9th) said:
“We’re here without any mistakes and we are definitely learning a lot. We have pushed quite hard today and we are confident with the car. I’m really enjoying the stages and it’s cool to be in a fight with Mads and Dani [Sordo] as they have a lot more experience than I do!
“I’ve never experienced anything like this rally before. We’ve been trying to manage our driving and improve every aspect of what we are doing. I know that I specifically need to improve my driving into the junctions – I missed a few of those today! In the south of France we don’t have many of those so there is some work to do to perfect that.”
Mads Østberg (10th) said:
“The first stage wasn’t so good this morning. We did a lot of work yesterday evening to try and learn something – to try and learn where we were losing out to the top guys. I changed my driving style a bit, but at the end of the day that is not an easy thing to do. We went back to how I prefer to drive and tried to gain a little with the set-up instead. We saw a small gain there so that is a positive. Obviously there is still a long way to go, but we have really enjoyed the driving and we feel quite happy with everything we have done.”
Elfyn Evans (3rd WRC 2) said:
“This morning was definitely good and we can be really pleased with the progress that we made there overnight. Unfortunately it didn’t quite continue into the afternoon, but we’ll keep at it tomorrow and see what happens. There are still four stages to go and we’ll keep pushing until the very last kilometre.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“This is turning out to be a fantastic weekend for M-Sport. If Ott and Raigo can secure the victory tomorrow the team honestly won’t be able to contain their emotions. I knew that the car and the team were still capable of winning, I’ve known that for a long time, and every single member of the team deserves this. Ott and Raigo have been in a class of their own, and they fully deserve to spray that champagne tomorrow.
“Eric has continued to do exactly what was asked of him. He’s never experienced anything like these roads before so he is holding his own and learning a tremendous amount. Of course it’s a bit frustrating for him after being let loose over the past couple of events, but this knowledge gained will be vital for his future development.
“Mads set some stronger times today too and is now in a close battle with Eric and Dani Sordo. On an event as fast as this it is so difficult to claw back any time loss but he is working extremely hard with his engineer to find where he is losing.
“Elfyn set some great times this morning to take three out of a possible three stage victories over the first loop. He struggled a little in the afternoon, but he is on course to secure his second podium in as many weekends.”
RESULTS AFTER SS17
Anna Louise Rudd
Media M-Sport WRT
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