F1 news
    www.vandmasini.ro
+Galerie Foto
+Calendar Competitional
+MotoGp News 2009
+Photo Moto Gp
+MotoGp News
+Photo Album Rally
+Photo Gallery Wrc
+Calendar Competitonal
+Rally Drivers
+Rally Co-Drivers
+Rally Monte-Carlo
+Rally Sweden
+Rally Mexico
+Rally Catalunya
+Rally Corsica
+Rally Argentina
+Rally Sardinia
+Rally Acropolis
+Rally Deutschland
+Rally Nestle Finland
+Rally Japan
+Rally Cyprus
+Rally Turkey
+Rally Australia
+Rally Team
+WRC Rally
+Albums F1 Photo Gallery +Formula 1 Photo Gallery +F1 Sexy Pit Babes Pics
+Calendar Competitonal
+Michael Schumacher F1
+Michael Schumacher
+Goodbye Michael Schumacher
+Formula 1 Pilots
+F1 Team
+F1 Sakhir Circuit
+F1 Sepang Circuit
+F1 Melbourne Circuit
+F1 Imola Circuit
+F1 Nurburgring Circuit
+F1 Barcelona Circuit
+F1 Monaco Circuit
+F1 Silverstone Circuit
+F1 Montreal Circuit
+F1 Indianapolis Circuit
+F1 Magny-cours Circuit
+F1 Hockenheim Circuit
+F1 Hungaroring Circuit
+F1 Istanbul Circuit
+F1 Monza Circuit
+F1 Spa-Francorchamps
+F1 Shanghai Circuit
+F1 Suzuka Circuit
+F1 Interlagos Circuit
+F1 News Arhive
+Formula 1 | F1 2006
+F1 News List
+Katie Price Photo Gallery +Jodie Marsh Pictures
+Photo Gallery
+Calendar Competitonal
+Galerie Foto
+Calendar Competitonal
+Calendar Competitonal
+Galerie Foto
+Photo Gallery
+Calendar Competitonal +Red Bull Romaniacs 2006 +Rally Raid Sitemap
+Galerie Foto
+Calendar Competitonal
+Arhiva Stiri
+Anunturi
Rain in Spain sparks tactical battle
Catalunya - Ford World Rally Team - Leg 1
The Ford World Rally Team lies third and fourth following today's opening leg of Rally de España during which the ever-changing road conditions sparked a fascinating game of tactics between the major players.

Marcus Grönholm
and Timo Rautiainen lead the Ford squad into third in a Focus RS World Rally Car while team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen are fourth in a similar vehicle. Each won one of the day's six asphalt speed tests.

Tyre selection was the dominant factor as the conditions in the mountains near Salou, south of Barcelona, changed from wet this morning to dry by early afternoon and back to wet again this evening.

Forecasting how quickly the roads would dry and estimating exactly when the rain would fall was the name of the game as teams calculated whether to opt for dry or wet weather set-ups on their cars for the three groups of special stages.

Torrential rain forced organisers to cancel last night's start ceremony for this 12th round of the FIA World Rally Championship after the seafront roads in Salou became flooded. Instead drivers, officials and team personnel paid their tributes to ex-Ford driver and World Champion Colin McRae during an emotional 15-minute ceremony at the rally headquarters. Today drivers tackled two laps of two stages north-east of the town before a final loop of two tests to the west, totalling 148.05km.

Grönholm made a perfect start by winning the opening stage but as temperatures rose and the wet roads began to dry, the 39-year-old Finn slipped to third.
He opted for medium soft compound tyres with additional cuts hand-carved into the rubber for the second loop in expectation of mixed conditions. However, the roads were bone dry and he dropped time to Sebastien Loeb, his arch rival for the drivers' title.

A dry weather set-up and tyres were the perfect choice for the first stage of the final loop and Grönholm ate into Loeb's advantage with second fastest time. However, as he sat on the start line of the final test, the rain began to fall and Loeb's softer specification for wet weather paid dividends as the Frenchman stretched his lead to 50.6sec over Grönholm.

"It felt like I could go off on every corner so I drove cautiously," he said. "I need to think about the points to be gained from third place rather than risk losing everything by chasing Loeb in the rain on the wrong tyres. I had no feeling with the car in the wet and I was scared to push. The car was great in the dry on the previous stage but the rain came just 15 minutes too early. I hate this inconsistent weather and I hope tomorrow is dry so that I can keep the pressure on in case Seb makes a mistake."
"This morning I had the right tyres. On the middle loop I expected the roads to be mainly dry but wet in the shade, and there were a lot of trees alongside the roads. But they were totally dry and I had too many cuts in the tyres which were moving all the time. I knew after just a few hundred metres of the first stage in the group that it was the wrong choice," he added.

Ford Team Director Malcolm Wilson admitted this evening's tyre choice was risky. "We knew the penultimate stage was dry and there was a risk of showers on the final test. We took a gamble, knowing that if the last stage stayed dry we would make a big time gain, and if not we would not lose position. If we had opted for the same set-up as Loeb we would have gained no time," he said.

Hirvonen held fourth throughout the day. He was uncomfortable in the wet this morning but was much happier as the conditions dried out and was fastest on the penultimate stage before the rain returned. He is just 2.6sec behind his team-mate.

"At the start of the first stage, on damp roads, I had no confidence," he explained. "I was seven seconds slower than Marcus on the first 4km. It was the right tyre choice, it was just a struggle for me in those conditions. The car was happy, it's just the driver that wasn't! I felt more comfortable with my driving on the drier roads and I had a better feeling. It's tricky to choose the right set-up when conditions are mixed like this. The whole package has to be exactly right to set the best times. Now I need to keep the pressure on tomorrow to try to keep François Duval behind me. It's important for the team's title challenge and for Marcus' title hopes that we both finish ahead of him."

Abu Dhabi's Khalid Al Qassimi and Nicky Beech were 14th in another Ford Focus RS on their Spanish debut until a conservative approach in the wet this evening dropped them to 18th. "I have sampled a wide range of new experiences today. It was foggy this morning and then on the final stage the rain was so heavy that I decided not to take risks. The windscreen misted and a wiper broke so I had to peer around that to see the road," he said.

After leaving Salou at 08:00 Saturday morning, drivers will face two identical clockwise loops of four stages to the north and west, split by a return to the service park at PortAventura. They will tackle 119.16km of competition before returning for the final overnight halt at 17:48.
Source Ford World Rally Team


     Loeb and Sordo lead in Catalunya
     Return to Costa Darauda
     Andreas Mikkelsen set for Rally Catalunya
     Bettega meets the M-Sport team
     Jean-Joseph returns to action in Greece
     Who will be the 2007 Rally Catalunya's 'Gaudi'?
     Fun in the sun for the Fiestas in Spain
     Fully manned again
     An eagerly-awaited challenge for Citroen drivers
     Spain launches key phase for WRC hopes

     Last News at infoRally

     Raliul Deltei castigat de Francois Delcour
     Bottas drove a solid race and Maldonado crashed on Monaco GP
     No points for Sauber on Monaco GP
     Best Sahara Force India result ever on Monaco GP
     Red Bull placed two cars on the podium in Monaco
..::Rally Cars For Sale::..
Anunturi Masini de Vanzare
Adauga Anunt
infoRally RSS
Add to My AOL
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Google
Custom Search
..:: Game Suggestion ::..

Drive the super fast race cars and see if you could have been or perhaps still can become the world's best racer.
Get It!
..::Rally Newsletter::..
.::info Rally Suggestions::.
.::Car Reviews::.
..::info Rally TOP::..