Australia : Warmbold / M-Sport - Shakedown
After a successful shakedown test, German professional rally driver Antony Warmbold and his British co-driver Michael Orr are entering the final round of the World Rally Championship, the Rally Australia staged from 10 to 13 November,
"I'm satisfied with Thursday's shakedown test," says Antony Warmbold, who drives a privately fielded Ford Focus RS WRC. "We were quicker than privateer drivers Dani Sola and Xavier Pons and thus the second-best independent drivers. Everything went smoothly, and I've gotten a first feel for the conditions of the rally."
For the event, which includes 26 special stages covering a total distance of 355 kilometres, the 27-year-old expects warm weather conditions. "We'll probably have sunshine on all four days. My guess is that we'll have temperatures slightly above 20 degrees. That's why there'll probably be a lot of dust on the quick gravel stages. I hope to be able to clock good times on Friday so that I'll have a promising starting position on Saturday. Here in Australia it's particularly crucial not to be one of the first to go into the special stages. Because initially the tracks are very dirty and have to be 'swept clean' first."
Warmbold has set the goal of finishing as the best privateer driver in Australia. "It would be great if I managed this. Our toughest rivals will probably be the two CitroŽn cars driven by Manfred Stohl and Xavier Pons, as well as my Ford brand colleague Dani Sola. I expect the rally to be very thrilling." Concerning his set-up the German is banking on the one used in the Japan Rally, which saw Warmbold come as the best privateer contender. "I should be in good shape with this. Other than that, we made no changes to the car and therefore shouldn't have any problems with reliability."
The Rally Australia will start in Perth at 6.13 p.m. local time on Thursday with two short show stages. The first leg will begin at 9.23 a.m. on Friday morning, nine special stages will be on the agenda during the day. On Saturday there will be nine further special stages. Following the final six stages on Sunday, 13 November, the teams are expected at the finish in Perth around 2.45 p.m.
Press Release Warmbold PR