S-WRC wrap: Purposeful Pons wins again in the Super 2000 category

03.04.2010: Xevi Pons claimed his second win of the inaugural FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship season with a purposeful performance on the Jordan Rally. Driving a Ford Fiesta S2000, the Spaniard moved in front on the first run through the Jordan River

Xevi Pons claimed his second win of the inaugural FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship season with a purposeful performance on the Jordan Rally.

Driving a Ford Fiesta S2000, the Spaniard moved in front on the first run through the Jordan River stage on Friday morning. And he made the most of his experience to stay out of trouble on the demanding sun-baked gravel stages to move clear in the title standings.

Although a competitive field of S-WRC runners had assembled in the Middle East, Pons faced limited competition during the closing stages of the event after several of the fancied frontrunners hit trouble on Thursday’s opening day. Indeed, Pons and Bernardo Sousa, in another Fiesta, were the only drivers still in contention for victory after day one.

But when Sousa was excluded for receiving outside assistance to enable him to reach final service on day two after an electrical problem cut his car’s engine, Pons was left in the clear.

“I am very happy with this result,” said Pons. “Winning in Mexico was a surprise because I did not know the car so well. Also here, I did not have a good feeling with the car at the start with too much oversteer. It was a hard rally, a bit like Cyprus and Greece and apart from losing my powersteering on the final stage I really had no problems today.”

Eyvind Brynildsen took second in his Skoda Fabia S2000, despite having to drive for much of the event with two-wheel drive only following a differential failure, which couldn’t be cured because he didn’t have enough available funds for a replacement.

“I think I drove faster on the recce than I did today because I was just driving in the middle of the road to get to the finish,” said the Norwegian. “There were so many noises coming from the car today and that got me really worried. But we made it although without the problems I really think I could have won here.”

Per-Gunnar Andersson recovered from his crash on Friday to claim the final podium spot in his Skoda after going fastest on two of Saturday’s eight special stages. Nasser Al-Attiyah, who set the fastest time on the day’s other six tests in his Fabia, was fourth having lost time with a crash on Thursday and a broken throttle cable on Friday.

Patrik Sandell (Skoda) was fifth with Jari Ketomaa marking his S-WRC debut in sixth following a frustrating rally in his Fiesta. “At the end of the year we will look back on this rally and laugh because it’s been unbelievable,” said Ketomaa. “We did no stages on Thursday and only one on Friday but at least we are at the finish.”

Michal Kosciuszko was second when he crashed his Fiesta heavily on the day’s third stage. He was taken to hospital in Jordan’s capital Amman and is likely to remain under observation overnight.


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03.04.2010 / MaP

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