A special one for Hughes' first time on gravel

23.03.2007: A special one for Hughes' first time on gravel

Fiesta Sporting Trophy International
Rally de Portugal, 30 March-01 April
Event Preview
 

 

After showing impressive form in Norway, Simon Hughes heads to Rally de Portugal, confident, as he tackles the second round of the 2007 Fiesta SportingTrophy International championship. This will be the Welshman’s fourth WRC event and his first on gravel, only competing on tarmac WRC events in 2006.

Hughes demonstrated title-winning pace in Norway until an off on leg 2 got him stuck in a snow bank and out of contention for the opening round. Portugal’s high temperatures and rocky gravel surface will be a hugely contrasted change from the initial round of the championship, but one he is waiting to pounce on.

The 23-year-old currently sits in fourth position, five points adrift of Scotsman Barry Clark. Hughes was on pace with Clark for the majority of stages in Norway and will be looking to repeat the process heading to Portugal next week. There is some family history here also, with his father, Ian Hughes, competing in the Algarve Rally over 25 years ago.

It’s been a busy lead up to Rally de Portugal with Hughes spending three days this week with the MSA British Rally Academy at Edinburgh University. He was taken through a number of intense courses including sport psychology, physiology, media skills, sponsorship, nutrition, fitness and strength and conditioning programs.

Next week will also be a special one for the youngster not just on a rallying level. Hughes will be visiting the Instituto Dom Francisco Gomes, a charity home in Faro which takes in young children from broken homes, orphans and kids taken into care by the courts; all between six and 18 years of age. Tireless fundraising by the Director of the home gives them a quality of life unlike any other institution and it is held as a model home in Portugal. Hughes will take time out of his busy schedule to visit the children who are anxiously waiting his arrival.

Simon Hughes said:

"I’m really looking forward to getting back on gravel because it’s a surface a bit more familiar than the snow of Norway. It was great to do an event like Norway because it’s more experience in a WRC event which I can take with me to Portugal.

My goal is to be on pace with Barry (Clark) and hopefully put together some results. The car is looking like new again so it should be a good challenge next week. A friend of ours, involved with the boys home, approached me to come and talk to the kids and I was more than happy to help out such a worthwhile cause."

Event Information

Date: 30 March – 01 April 2007
Round: 2 of 7 Fiesta Sporting Trophy International
Based: Faro, Portugal
Surface: Gravel
Total distance: 1008.70km (competitive 357.1km, liaison 651.6km)
Number of stages: 18
Longest stage: 30.69km (stages 8+11)
Highest elevation on stage: 640 metres (on stages 10+13)

Permanent Service Park: Algarve Stadium, Faro

Leg one: Thursday 29 March. Cars starting SS1, Estádio Algarve 1 at 17:50, tackling 122.79km

Leg two: Saturday 31 March. Cars starting SS8, Silves / Ourique 1 at 08:30, tackling 152.92km

Leg three: Sunday 01 April. Cars starting SS14, Loulé / Almodovar 1 at 07:00, tackling 81.39km

Event Finish: Sunday 01 April, 13:55. Algarve Stadium, Faro

 

-Glenn Patterson -

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fiesta-sporting-trophy-rally-de-portugal-special-hughes-simon-gravel-scotsman-photos---20159.html

23.03.2007 / MaP

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