Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team begins attack on Uddeholm Swedish Rally
Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team begins attack on Uddeholm Swedish Rally
FIA World Rally Championship
Uddeholm Swedish Rally, 8–11 February 2007
The Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team begins its WRC campaign next week at the Uddeholm Swedish Rally. Argentinean drivers Luis Perez Companc and Juan Pablo Raies will head the M-Sport run team, competing in ten rounds of the 2007 championship.
Both drivers are extremely excited about the opportunity they have this year and will be looking to gain valuable experience as well as positive results throughout. The team will be driving last year’s winning car in the Manufacturers’ Championship - Ford Focus RS WRC 06 - and with three Argentinean Championships between them, the pair will add extra firepower to the Ford company artillery.
Competing in eight rallies last season, Perez Companc has experienced the championship’s many different surfaces and will be hunting for Manufacturer points, especially on his home rally in Argentina. Team-mate Raies has yet to experience much out of South America, apart from Safari Rally of Kenya in 2002 and Rally of Cyprus last year, so he will be looking to gain vital experience and finish all events during the year.
Perez Companc will be guided by one of the most highly-rated professional co-drivers in Argentina, Jose Maria Volta. Raies will have Jorge Perez Companc alongside him, brother of Luis and a former Argentinean and South American champion co-driver.
Both crews have been spending a lot of time preparing for the year and will look to begin their campaign on a high. The drivers are very impressed with the car and extremely happy with its performance at a mid-December test in Cumbria.
Uddeholm Swedish Rally is renowned for its high speed roads and massive snow banks, and will be a test for the two South Americans who between them have only contested the rally once. Perez Companc finished the event last year in a hard fought 17th position, while Raies has never driven on snow and the event will be a huge learning curve for him.
Set in the Värmland area, Uddeholm Swedish Rally takes place in the snow and ice covered regions of Hagfors and Karlstad, in a bitterly dry cold climate with temperatures between zero and minus-20 degrees Celsius. The rally covers 341km of competitive distance in 20 special stages and with 34.8 percent of fresh competitive route it will offer new challenges to all 63 drivers competing in the snow next week; 22 of which are WRC entrants.
This year the city of Karlstad has introduced a brand new purpose built super special stage which includes a 30 metre jump and with top speeds of 160km/h the synchronized 1886 metre parallel track will offer fans a breathtaking view of what rallying is all about.
Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team Driver Luis Perez Companc said:
"The Focus WRC 06 is a fantastic car to drive and the few events I drove it last year, it left me with such a good feeling that I am really looking forward to driving it again this season. The expectations are big this year because we have entered a team in the championship and the idea will be to try and score as many points as possible. For Sweden, I am much more confident than last year, it was important to build up the experience and hopefully this year we should be faster. I’m really looking forward to Argentina, especially this year because the start will be in Buenos Aires.
"I have a very good relationship with my brother and we have spoken a lot about all that can happen this season. Let’s hope that with my advice it can make things easier for him and Juan Pablo."
Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team Driver Juan Pablo Raies said:
"This year is going to be a big challenge and I have prepared myself for it, so I hope to do as good a job as possible. It is going to be a long season with nine new rallies for me, so my aim is to try and finish all of them. I want to gain lots of experience on each of the events, so if I have the chance to return in the future I will have better knowledge and notes.
"I had the opportunity to test the car in mid-December in Cumbria and it was fantastic the way it performed, I’m really looking forward to driving it. To finish the rally in Sweden would be great for me, I have been getting some coaching and hope to apply it to the rally next week, my first on snow!"
Date: 8-11 February Round: 2 of 16. Based: Karlstad, Sweden. Surface: Snow and ice covered gravel. Total distance: 1730.36km (competitive 341.2km, liaison 1389.16km).
Number of stages: 20. Longest stage: 34.54km (stage 10, Liljendal). Highest elevation on stage: 332 metres (on stages 2/5). Stages in darkness: Three (stages 1, 8 and 15). Permanent Service Park: Hagfors Airport, 85km north of Karlstad.
Official start: Thursday 8 February, 18:55 from Trotting Track, Karlstad Super Special Stage.
Leg one: 8 - 9 February. Cars starting Karlstad Super Special at 19:00, tackling 114.07km.
Leg two: Saturday 10 February. Cars starting stage 9, Lesjöfors, at 08:00, tackling 142.63km.
Leg three: Sunday 11 February. Cars starting stage 16, Backa 1, at 08:10, tackling 84.5km.
Event Finish: Sunday 11 February. Karlstad Super Special Stage Arena.
Marcus Grönholm und Ford holen sich zweiten Saisonsieg in Folge
„Bosse" bereitete sich zum 38. Geburtstag selbst das schönste Geschenk: Marcus Grönholm entschied am Sonntag zum vierten Mal den Rallye-WM-Lauf in Schweden zu seinen Gunsten. Der Finne gewann am Steuer seines neu entwi weiter >>
Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen in the Ford Focus have won their second rally of the 2006 season with the BP-Ford World Rally Team. On the last stage he extended his lead over Loeb by 30.9 seconds.
On the fight for thi weiter >>
Daniel Carlsson is back on third place again. The rally favourite has snatched the position from Gigi Galli by finishing ahead of him on the stage. Both drivers are on a Mitsubishi Lancer and only 0.2 seconds separates them.
Marcus Gronholm has increased his lead by scoring best time on the stage and is now ahead of Sebastien Loeb by 21.3 seconds on the leaderboard.
Following his problem on the third of the morning's stages on the final leg of the Swedish Rally, Marcus Gronholm's lead to Sebastien Loeb has dropped to just under 15 seconds, with three stages to go.
A Hydraulic oil filter on the Finn's Ford Focus WRC06 exploded, spraying oi weiter >>
Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli has retaken third position overall after scoring a time of 5 minutes 53.6 seconds. He now is only 0.7 seconds ahead of Daniel Carlsson in the second Mitsubishi.
In the fight for the lead, Marcus Gronholm has recovered from his problems on stage 16 and has set fastest time (5 minutes 47.7 se weiter >>
The rally leader has finished stage 16 in ninth spot. The Finn lost the hydraulic oil on the stage which squirted into the windscreen giving him poor visibility and had to do the second part of the stage with no active differential and with manual gear change. Christian Loriaux believes it could be a cracked filter housing but the car will be taken to service and be evaluated. Th weiter >>
Sebastien Loeb in the Kronos Total Citroen scores his second best time of the day (11 minutes 49.3 seconds) only 1.5 seconds ahead of Marcus Gronholm who holds an overall lead of 23.4 seconds over the Frenchman. Loeb: "I continue to go fast but not taking too many risks. Marcus is too far ahead of us."
Norwegian Petter Solberg is back again and scored third fastest time i weiter >>
The leader of the rally almost lost it all at the start of stage 12 when he slid off in a corner. "It was scary, we have to really concentrate now," he commented at the end of the special. He was still able to score second best time behind Sebastien Loeb in the Kronos Total Citroen who did a time of 5 minutes 56.3 seconds. weiter >>
Restarting again was the focus of Hirvonen. Team director Malcolm Wilson: "The water temperature actually reached 140 degrees, but surprisingly there does not seem to be any damage, so we allowed the car to carry on today".
All the original starters except one privateer were all at the restart today, albeit 33rd over weiter >>
Just as the main field found itself suffering numerous excursions off the road, the Junior WRC also saw a number of its competitors visiting the snow-banks, although most managed to get back on again, sooner or later.
Leg one leader PG Andersson got away the lightest, with weiter >>
The final stage of the second leg saw a repeat of yesterday's superspecial stage around the town of Hagfors. Loeb went fastest, closely followed by Kosti Katajamaki in the Stobbart Ford Focus. Gronholm was third fastest while Touhino and Joge followed closely behin weiter >>
Result stage Stage 13
1. 1 S. LOEB 2:00.7 0.0 0.02. 3 M. GRÖNHOLM 2:01.4 0.7 0.7= 10 K. KATAJAMÄKI 2:01.4 0.0 0.74. 15 J. TUOHINO 2:02.1 0.7 1.45. 19 J. JOGE 2:02.7 0.6 2.06. 14 G. GALLI 2:02.9 0.2 2.27. 21 D. SORDO 2:03.5 0.6 2.88. 63 D. CARLSSON 2:04.1 0.6 3.49. 4 M. HI weiter >>
For the first time on the second leg, Sebastian Loeb took a stage win from Marcus Gronholm on the second run of the event's longest stage. However, despite Ford's Finn stalling on the start line, the Frenchmen only took 2.3 seconds back - not enough to make a serious dent in the leader's margin. "I had the tyre choice right," s weiter >>
An eventful stage 11 took two OMV-Peugeot Norway drivers out of the road. First it was Henning Solberg who slid wide on a right hand corner and rolled. He was able though to get back on the road and finish the stage. Manfred Stohl went off on the same corner, but, didn't have the same luck as his team-mate and was stuck on weiter >>
Henning Solberg rolls
Henning Solberg has rolled on stage 11. Both driver and co-driver are uninjured but car's windshield is broken. The crew is heading to service to make repairs.
The OMV-Peugeot Norway driver was on sixth position overall.
Manfred Stohl stuck on a ditch
Seco weiter >>
Gronholm has completed another successful stage in the Ford Focus with a time of 6 minutes 02.4 seconds on top of Sebastien Loeb who is in the Kronos Total Citroen.
Hirvonen finished again on the top three but still more than 10 minutes away from his team-mate leader Marcus Gronholm. Petter Solberg was fourth in t weiter >>
Another stage victory for Marcus Gronholm and his Ford Focus; the Finn scored his third best time of the day. Sebastien Loeb finished second, only 3.4 seconds behind the leader but 21.3 seconds away from the overall leaderboard. "Marcus is too fast and it will be difficult to catch him," said Loeb.
Petter Solberg w weiter >>
Marcus Gronholm topped the times again in the second stage of the day in the Ford Focus followed by Sebastien Loeb who had a better run a second time around in the Kronos Racing Team Citroen Xsara. Marcus still leads over Sebastien by 17.9 seconds in the overall results.
Norwegian Petter Solberg managed to finish weiter >>
Ford driver Marcus Gronholm scored a spectacular time of 6 minutes 04.8 seconds aboard the new Ford Focus in the opening stage of the day. "We did a few modifications to the car and I know this stage pretty well, it is a fantastic car," he said at the end of stage 7.
The Finn now extends his lead over Sebast weiter >>
It's well known that rallies can't be won but can be lost on spectator stages and so while no-one took it easy, there were no surprises. Loeb and Gronholm headed the time sheets, followed by Galli and Ekstrom. Carlsson, Sordo, Tuohino and Stohl rounded out the top eight, with just four seconds covering them.
S weiter >>
Event leader Marcus Gronholm and second-placed Sebastian Loeb were seperated by less than a second as they charged over the 40Km penultimate stage of the first day. Loeb was 0.8sec faster over the test but remains in second behind Gronholm as they head for the leg's final, spectator stage.
Third and fourth fastest we weiter >>
The top three positions of the event remain as they did following the first pair of stages but that doesn't reflect the intense competition. Gigi Galli took the third stage and Sebastian Loeb took the fourth. However, barely second separated the three across all of the first four stages.
Gronholm suffered a small spi weiter >>
Sebastian Loeb, in the Kronos Citroen Xsara, set the fastest time on the fourth stage of the Swedish Rally, the second run of the Lejen stage. Grohholm retains the lead, however, although Loeb closes slightly. Third fastest was Daniel Carlsson in the first Mitsibishi, closely followed by Gigi Galli, less than half a second furt weiter >>
The second run of the Fredriksberg stage saw the rise of the non-works drivers, with Gigi Galli posting the fastest time over the stage, closely followed by Jani Tuohino in the PH Sport-run Citroen Xsara. Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen was third fastest, followed by Sebastian Loeb. Event leader Marcus Gronholm had a spin in th weiter >>
OMV Peugeot driver Manfred Stohl, running third on the road behind Sebastian Loeb, has problems on the event's second stage. Because Loeb arrived late after fixing his bonnet, an error led to Stohl starting one minute after Loeb. Spectators clearly expected him to be two minutes behind and had begun moving around in the stag weiter >>
Early rally leader Marcus Gronholm says that the larger snow banks at the edges of the roads have changed the nature of the stages considerably. Speaking at the event's first service, he said; "The corners seem tighter than last year when there was les snow. We've made quite a few changes to our pace notes in the recce to weiter >>
Marcus Gronholm won the second stage of the Swedish Rally to head for the event's first service with a 19 second lead over Frenchman Sebastian Loeb.
Loeb had a minor panic when removing his lamp pod between the first and second stages. His bonnet flew up on the road section and smas weiter >>
Following a sharp drop in temperatures, Ford's Marcus Gronholm surprised no-one by setting the fastest time on the opening stage of the first leg of the Swedish Rally. He ran the 18Km Fredriksberg test in 10:25.7 in temperatures hovering around -10 deg C.
Kronos Citroen's Sebastian Loeb wasn't far behind though, j weiter >>
Italian driver 'Gigi' Galli has confirmed that he is still seeking a long term drive for 2006 and is in discussion with Skoda about a possible drive there. Speaking exclusively to World Rally Radio, Galli explained that he is still in limbo, waiting for news from Mitsubishi. "I have spoken to Skoda and would l weiter >>
FIA rules dictate that the chassis and engine on cars of the top championship drivers must be the same in Sweden as two weeks ago in Monte Carlo. The system for sealing is that the engine is fixed to the chassis cross member. There is a time penalty applied if seals fixed in Monte Carlo are found to be broken on arrival in weiter >>
Former Peugeot driver Daniel Carlsson, starting the event in a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 following the unanimous agreement of all competitors, set the pace at the event's shakedown, claiming the fastest time of the morning. There were no further surprises or problems as the field prepared for the start in temperatures around -4 degrees C and in plenty of snow.
"I have taken weiter >>
Red Bull Skoda team manager Armin Schwarz says that a finish in this weekend's Uddeholm Swedish Rally has to be the primary aim for the team. Both Skoda Fabia WRCs, for Mattias Ekstrom and Andreas Aigner, are 2005 specification, running active transmission as allowed by the regulations.
L weiter >>
First time this event has qualified for the Junior World Rally Championship.
Although the headquarters, ceremonial start and finish will be at Karlstad, the overnight halts will be at Hagfors, 85km away. The Parc Ferme will be inside a building at the Uddeholm factory.
The total route is some 300km shorter weiter >>
Die Rallye Schweden im Überblick BFGoodrich bereit für heißen Ritt auf Eis und Schnee
Karlsruhe, 29. Januar 2006 - Schneewalzer auf schwedisch: Nach dem Sand der Dakar und dem überfrorenen Asphalt der Monte bewegen sich die BFGoodrich Partnerteams bei der Rallye Schweden erneut auf extremem Untergrund. Von den winterlichen Gegebenheiten zeigen sich die weiter >>
Former Peugeot protégé Daniel Carlsson look set to drive an ex-works Mitsubishi Lancer WRC on next weekend's Uddeholm Swedish Rally. The Swede was already set to compete on his home event in a Group N car, but is trying to make the step up to the top class following the late availability of a car.
Ex-works M weiter >>
Subaru's Petter Solberg is hoping to put his Monte Carlo retirement misery behind him and score a repeat of last year's win on next weekend's Uddeholm Swedish Rally. The 2003 title winner, who retired from last weekend's season-opener, is keen not to let his title rivals outscore him in this early part of the ye weiter >>
Former works drivers Francois Duval and Gigi Galli are close to putting together more expansive campaigns on this year's World Rally Championship, albeit as privateers, after starting this weekend's Monte Carlo season-opener with the prospect of just limited programmes.
Former Citroen and Ford ace D weiter >>
Harri Rovanpera took a surprise stage win in his four-speed Mitsubishi Lancer on the final test of the 2005 Uddeholm Swedish Rally as Petter Solberg sealed his first victory on the event and Toni Gardemeister took the World Rally Championship lead with a third place finish and Markko Martin bagged se weiter >>
Daniel Carlsson took his second Uddeholm Swedish Rally stage win in a row as Sebastien Loeb's brave attempt to nurse his sick second-placed Citroen to the end of the event failed, when the car stopped before the stage. The Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo winner and pre-event points leader appears to be out of the rally.
Carlsson beat Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli to the top time weiter >>