WRC A FULL 2016
ØSTBERG CONTINUES TO PROGRESS.
M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mads Østberg held his own as RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada turned to his least preferred surface today. With improving pace on the Catalan asphalt, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver currently holds a comfortable sixth place overall.
Rally Spain Day Two
Continuing his new strategy for Tarmac driving, Østberg’s theory is beginning to pay dividends. Aware that they would initially lose time, he and compatriot co-driver Ola Fløene remained focussed on the task in hand and displayed an increase in pace as the day progressed.
Gaining on the fastest times between the first and second passes, the Norwegians have proved that they are learning with every kilometre and plan to continue that trend through tomorrow’s final stages.
In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Éric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas regained some confidence as the second day of competition delivered more familiar conditions for the circuit-like asphalt.
Also displaying a marked increase in pace, the Frenchmen set a string of competitive times which were much closer to those of the leading pack and were determined to continue their development over the second loop.
Unfortunately, their plans were scuppered by technical gremlins – a transmission issue leaving them stuck in fifth gear through the second pass of Querol (SS12). Forced to call it a day, they had no choice but to return to service much earlier than planned.
Restarting under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow, Camilli is by no means disheartened and vows to continue his training through the season’s final sealed-surface stages.
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Mads Østberg (6th) said:
“I’m quite happy to see that our new driving style is starting to pay off. We’ve seen an increase in speed and set some decent stage times too. Of course you always try to improve in the same direction and sometimes it kicks back which makes it quite difficult to tune in, but we are trying and I think we are getting there.
“Sometimes you need to learn something new to move forward, and that is what we’re doing on Tarmac. You need to allow some time to see the results, but you also need to see the gains and I’m quite happy to see that we are moving in the right direction and that we are getting faster.”
Éric Camilli (21st) said:
“Of course it’s disappointing to finish the day like this, but it hasn’t been a bad day by all means. We’ve shown better speed but more importantly we’ve also proved our adaptability. One of the stages was completely new to me this morning and normally I would lose some time there, but this time we were actually quite close to the fastest which was really good.
“Having checked the pacenotes over the first pass, we wanted to improve further on the second and close the gap even more. Unfortunately that wasn’t possible as we had an issue with the gearbox. These things happen and I think every driver has to accept that sometimes.
“We’ll have to use the gravel gearbox tomorrow but that is just the way it is and we’ll focus on checking the notes and making sure that we’re as prepared as we possibly can be for next year.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Mads has had a better afternoon and he’s quite happy trying his different driving techniques. At the end of the day he’s in a solid position, and is there in the points ready to take advantage of any last-minute drama.
“Éric was unlucky today. He was really looking forward to getting back out on the stages this afternoon but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. We think the problem started earlier today as it looks as though a tooth has been chipped in first gear. We’ll need to get back to base before we know for sure, but it looks as though that chipped tooth then got stuck in the gear mechanism which left him with only fifth gear on SS12.”
RESULTS AFTER SS15
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