Turkey : Stobart M-Sport Ford - Preview
Unpredictable stages and weather will be on the minds of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team as they head to Turkey for the next round of the World Rally Championship.
Similar to the last event in Cyprus, the Rally of Turkey
is known for its rough terrain and thankless stages although higher speeds can be reached, which will be good news to drivers and spectators alike. Also to the relief of the drivers, temperature-wise it will be hot, but not the soaring heat that was experienced on the Mediterranean island two weeks ago. But it's the difference in heights of the stages that can cause the difficulties, with the weather changing dramatically as the cars head into the mountains.
19 year old Brit Matthew Wilson, who despite having to take two SupeRally penalties in Cyprus still managed to score a manufacturer point, is looking forward to battling it out with the best. Matthew can look forward to picking up on some pretty impressive stage times set by himself and co-driver Michael Orr.
Meanwhile back behind the wheel of the second 04' WRC Ford Focus is the Finnish crew of Kosti Katajamaki and Timo Alanne. Kosti has competed twice before on this gruelling event, both times in a less powerful Super 1600 car and both times finishing second in this category.
Rally Turkey is held over 351 kilometres of competitive stages with the Super Special being held for the first time in darkness on both Friday and Saturday nights.
It is also the first time that the event is being held during the Ramadan Festival. The rally begins with a ceremonial start on Thursday at 1945 hours in Antalya. Matthew Wilson
“Another new event for me, but hopefully I can use all my Cyprus experience, both good and bad, to help me on this one. I'm happy with the set-up we finished with on Sunday in Cyprus and I think we can start with that here and use it to our advantage. So much happened to us in Cyprus that it would have been easy to put our heads down and give up…but we didn't and got the point for the team so it just shows what a positive attitude can do. I'm looking forward to Turkey.”Kosti Katajamaki
“I'm really looking forward to this rally. My last rally for the team was in August on my home event in Finland. The stages in Turkey are very difficult but I will be glad to be back in the car again and will be trying very hard to get some points. My experience here from two years ago should help as most of the stages remain the same, we will see how it goes.”Malcolm Wilson, Team Manager
“The key points of this rally are the rough but faster stages than Cyprus but the combination can bring even more problems. Also the weather is unpredictable as the cars might have to set off to do three stages in different weather conditions due to the altitude and varying weather in the area. It can make tyre choice more difficult.
“In Rally Cyprus, Matthew displayed consistency and the level of his performance took a big step up, if that continues in Turkey then that's really all I can ask for.”
Stobart M-Sport Ford