Azores Rallye: First leg results

We had a very good mood for the rally – we won the qualification, we had good tests, there was enthusiasm and confidence that everything will turn out as it should. Unfortunately at the very first special stage of the day we had a puncture and we stoped to change a wheel. We lost about two minutes, and then it became obvious that the only point of further participation in the rally is trying to climb as high as possible and pushing hard. We won the second special stage of the day. Unfortunately at the third one I didn’t hear the position in the pace notes – I heard that there was a fast corner and drove there too optimistically, so we couldn’t stay on the road. We turned around and bumped the front part against some pillar. Fortunately the car was not badly damaged, and we finished at that special stage, having lost only 11 seconds as a result of the accident. But the car was repaired for a long time in the service, so we received a 20-second penalty.

After the midday service we drove quickly, we had a good time at the fourth SS, but then something went wrong… I think I chose the wrong toughness of the tires, there was no grip with the track surface. We let go of the initiative a little bit. And at the leg’s final special stage everything turned out somehow ridiculous. There was a double race and, if you start from the left lane, you are guaranteed to get a cloud of dust. The car that goes along the next lane just goes ahead due to the configuration and starts dusting on the road. Many drivers were unhappy, and we received so much dust that I just stopped several times, I slowed down to the first gear. Because it was absolutely impossible to see where to go. This unpleasant situation upset us and added confusion to a bitter day.

In general, the speed is good, we can go very fast, the car works well. Thanks to the team for the repair, thanks to everyone who cheers for us and supports us. But it just didn’t work out so well as it is said…