Clark conquers the crests and Bettega gets a bonus - Fiesta SportingTrophy Finland Rally

Clark conquers the crests and Bettega gets a bonus - Fiesta SportingTrophy Finland Rally

20.08.2006: Clark conquers the crests and Bettega gets a bonus - Fiesta SportingTrophy Finland Rally

Fiesta SportingTrophy International, round 5/6
Neste Oil Rally Finland - Sunday August 20

Scot Barry Clark became the fourth different winner out of five rounds in the latest counter of the inaugural Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi). Clark took the lead on stage six on Friday and having set ten fastest stage times out of the twenty one stages in the 351 km route he was never challenged and has moved up to second overall in the series. The Stobart VK supported Fiesta ST only required routine maintenance and checks over the weekend.

TRT La Scuderia supported Alessandro Bettega became the first winner of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International. Once his main rival for the Championship, Mathieu Biasion, hit trouble on Friday, Bettega reduced his pace so as to maintain his position and secure the points he required to win the series and the prize of a supported drive in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship in 2007. On the last leg it did not quite go to plan as on the second stage of the day, Jukojarvi 1, his rear hub sheared and he lost the wheel. He decided not to complete the dayís final two tests and elected to take SupeRally penalties. His times on the first two days meant that once the penalties were applied he dropped one place but still collected the valuable six points he needed for the title.

Finn Joni Arpiainen who joined the FSTi regulars just for this event was delighted with his second place. After the first two forest tests on Friday he was languishing in last position following punctures. He set a fastest time on Friday proving that he was on the pace, but he also drove a tactical rally knowing that avoiding problems would reward him at the finish on Sunday.

Fellow Finn Kalle Keskinen was fastest on the three stages that the Fiesta STs tackled on Sunday after the last stage was stopped following an earlier accident. This made up for his puncture and broken suspension on Friday and the loss of a wheel on the last stage on Saturday. Fourth place represents his best finish to date in the Trophy.

Gilles Schammel, contesting only his second ever gravel event, continued to progress and gain experience on this tricky and specialised rally. On Friday he was generally 1.5 seconds per kilometre off the pace and by the end of the event he had this down to only a second. He is now only a point off third place in the overall standings with one round to go.

On her first visit to this tricky event Kiwi Emma Gilmour was fastest Fiesta ST on three stages in her Castol/Dream Drive Promotions backed car. The last stage on Saturday night saw her hole the sump in the ruts and the resultant oil loss meant that she elected to take SupeRally penalties on Sunday in order to record a finish. However she did prove that on the fast roller coaster tracks she has the pace to beat the best and showed the guys the way to do it during the second loop of stages on Saturday.

Frenchman Mathieu Biasionís dreadful luck over the last two weeks continued right through the weekend. On Friday a collision with a rock removed a wheel, on Saturday a wrong call from his co-driver sent him up an escape road where he collided with a parked car and on the last leg today the front damper collapsed on the Jukojarvi stage. When he had a clean run at a stage he set very competitive times but understandably he was not overjoyed with his first experience of Finland, although he loves the stages here.

Nine of the standard Fiesta ST Gp N rally cars started the Neste Oil Rally of Finland but Lambros Athanassoulas crashed his example heavily on the seventh stage on Friday. The fact that both he and co driver Nikos Mouzakis were uninjured is a testament to the M-Sport designed roll cage and the strength of the car.

Russian Evgeny Vertunov was excluded by the FIA Stewards along with four other crews on Friday night following a technical infringement. He had been lying third overall at the time.

The next and final round of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International takes place over the weekend of 1-3 December in Cardiff for Wales Rally GB. The Trophy may have a winner but the Welsh valleys will bear witness to a battle for the runnerís up place with second to fifth spot currently only separated by five points.

Barry Clark #53 Itís a fantastic result and Iím really happy to have won the Fiestas by such a margin. It just goes to show what I can do in the car. We werenít even pushing that hard, we just stuck to the plan of staying in the middle of the road and avoiding the rocks. Itís been hard to play two championships here. We had a puncture near the end of the first Ouninpohja stage and dropped some time on Saturday. The stages are really great. Theyíre fast and wide with jumps and bumps but youíve got to really watch out for the rocks. Weíre now in second place in the Fiesta points but we canít take the title which is a shame, but it looks good for us in the Rookie standings.

Alessandro Bettega #97 I am delighted, so excited to have won, it is a dream. Itís a pity that I didnít finish all of the stages today. I didnít hit anything but the hub just sheared and the wheel disappeared. It was near the end of the stage and we didnít loose much time but we then had to take SupeRally. I am looking forward to being able to fight for the lead in Wales.

Joni Arpiainen #99 I am happy. It was a tactical and challenging rally. I decided to drive in the middle of the road and avoid the rocks taking it very easy. Iím pleased with my result.

Mathieu Biasion #100 This has been a terrible fortnight for me. Every time I go out I get a problem or something happens. I have so much bad luck. After 4 km in the first stage this morning the suspension broke and I had to keep it steady in the middle of the road as it was crashing up and down.

Gilles Schammel #101
I have gone quicker every day and learnt so much about different lines and things. Iím even beginning to like gravel, seeing as this is only my second event on this surface.

Emma Gilmour #104 I have enjoyed the weekend and hope I have shown everyone the pace that I have. The sump was holed too badly last night for us to go out to the stages today. The guys repaired it enough to get it in to Parc Ferme last night, but I didnít have the heart to start the wee car this morning so we just pushed it into the service bay to get SupeRally and the finish we wanted.

- Andy Stobart-
photos by Luc Depiesse  copyright ISC Ltd, London 2006


20.08.2006 / MaP

More News

Flying Scotsman scorches the stages at Neste Oil Finland Rally
Neste Oil Rally Finland - Fiesta SportingTrophy International, round 5/6 Scot Barry Clark continued to extend his lead in the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) on day two of Neste Oil Rally Finland. Clark and co-driver Scott Martin completed the 145 km without an more >>
Clark leads flying Fiestas in Finland.
Fiesta SportingTrophy International, round 5/6 at Neste Oil Rally Finland Scot Barry Clark leads the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) after the opening leg of Neste Oil Rally Finland following a day long battle with series points leader Alessandro Bettega. Clark has been fastest more >>
FSTi: Athanassoulas wins and Gilles Schammel fastest time
more than 4.000 photos online on under PHOTOS -WRC RallyesGreek driver Lambros Athanassoulas claimed his first win in the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) series, as well as winning the N3 Class overall after three hard days on OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland, taking the win by 21.6 seconds from championship and early rally leader Alessand more >>
Fiesta STs blast the military ranges OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland
Fiesta SportingTrophy International, round 4/6 Greek driver Lambros Athanassoulas snatched the lead of the fourth round of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) on OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland when drama stuck the then rally leader, Alessandro Bettega, right at the entrance to final servi more >>
Gilmour makes FSTi debut at Deutschland Rallye
FIESTA SPORTING TROPHY -OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland Friday August 11    Kiwi rally driver Emma Gilmour had her first taste of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) as OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland got underway to variable weather conditions over eight stages held in the Mosel vineyards of the Saarland region of Germany. Gilmour more >>
Stobart VK-M-Sport Ford Rally Team at OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland, 11-13 August
Friday August 11, leg oneFIA World Rally Championship, round 9/16 The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team endured a trying first day to OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland with treacherous wet weather conditions making the Mosel vineyard stages a virtual ice rink at times and tyre choi more >>
Fiesta SportingTrophy International heads to Germany
Fiesta SportingTrophy International, round 4/6 OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland   The second half of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) season gets underway with this weekendís fourth round of the series on OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Itís set to be another close battle in the one make rally, with the prize of a supported drive in the more >>
Moore wins FST UK Swansea dust-up.
22th July 2006 Fiesta SportingTrophy UK, round 5/8   It was a case of dust, dust, dust as Chris Moore dusted off the opposition in the fifth round of the Fiesta SportingTrophy UK on the Swansea Bay Clubmans Rally with a blinder of a time on the final stage to take victory on the hot, dry and dusty gravel event. Moore started the d more >>
Fiesta SportingTrophy go to Swansea Bay.
Given the UKís current heat-wave itís appropriate that the VK Vodka Kick backed Fiesta SportingTrophy UK, Britainís most hotly contested single-make rally series, should head to a seaside base for the fifth round of the championship, the Swansea Bay Rally. Although Rally HQ is located within easy reach of Swanseaís picturesque beaches the Swansea Bay is a gravel rally using fores more >>
Barry Clark looks to Isle of Man.
Clark puts problems at home behind him. Scotsman Barry Clark canít wait for the next round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship as the series takes in its second tarmac rally of the year with Rally Isle of Man. Despite having lost his lead of the S1600 class of the BRC at his home event, the Jim Clark Rally, due to problems with h more >>
Fiesta SportingTrophy UK, round 4/8 - Huge lift for Hughes at the Jim Clark Rally
Jim Clark Fiesta Rally Saturday July 8th Simon Hughes took an impressive victory in the fourth round of the VK Vodka Kick backed Fiesta SportingTrophy UK series on the Jim Clark Rally, scoring valuable points for his championship campaign for the first time since the opening round and moving him into third in the standings behind Kevin Davies and new championship more >>
FST UK ready for first tarmac test
The Jim Clark Rally will be the first tarmac rally of the exciting VK Vodka Kick supported Fiesta SportingTrophy UK (FST UK) as the championship reaches its half way mark on the roads around Kelso, south east of Edinburgh. Leading the way is Welshman Kevin Davies who has yet to win an event but whose championship lead comes from a consistent second place and two thirds. more >>
Severn Rally Clubmans Rally - Fiesta time in sun drenched Wales
Fiesta SportingTrophy UK, round 3/8Saturday June 3 Ė for immediate release A hot and dusty Severn Valley Clubmans Rally set the scene for a thrilling round three in the Fiesta SportingTrophy UK (FST UK). Competitors battled it out over the famous fast stages used by some o more >>
FST UK puts a Kick into the Severn Valley.
The third round of the exciting Fiesta SportingTrophy UK (FST UK) takes place this coming weekend with the Severn Valley Clubmans Rally where 23 Ford Fiesta ST rally cars in the VK Vodka Kick supported series will trade times over the Forestry Commission plantations of Mid& Wales. It's just two weeks since the FST UK cars were out in action on the Pirelli Trophy Rally more >>
Bettega wins at home and takes championship lead
Alessandro Bettega scored a class and Fiesta victory in his home rally and moved into the drivers' points lead in the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi), the series for GpN Ford Fiesta STs which runs alongside rounds of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. Bettega and co-driver Simone Scatto more >>
Home favourite stays top but rivals close
Alessandro Bettega ended the second day of action in Rally d'Italia Sardegna in the lead of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International, but an epic battle was played out through the course of the day where he had dropped as low as fourth in the standings and the top three Fiestas ended the day with just over a min more >>
Bettega best after first day
Alessandro Bettega ended the first day of Rally d'Italia Sardegna ahead of his rivals after a day of six gruelling gravel stages in the third round of the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi). Bettega fought back from fifth in the standings at the end of the first loop and drove at a pace designe more >>
Fiesta Sporting Trophy International heads to Sardinia.
more >>
Evgeniy Vertunov Russia   Kalle Keskinen Finland more >>
Race Calendar 2006 - Fiesta Sporting Trophy
Rally Catalunya 24 March 2006 Tarmac Rallye de France - Tour de Corse 07 April 2006 Tarmac Supermag Rally Italia Sardinia 19 May 2006 Gravel OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland 11 August 2006 Tarmac Neste Rally Finland 18 August 2006 Gravel Wales Rally GB 01 December 2006 Gravel - Andy Stobart - more >>

Simon Hughes more >>


2001-2021 full copyright