Recoery Mode on: Rally de Portugal Is Over
Rally de Portugal 2021 was a rally to forget for us. Before the race had started, our driver and current WRC 2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen was sidelined at the very last minute after a positive Covid-19 test result prevented him from traveling to Porto. “Obviously I’m devastated for the team,” Mikkelsen said. “Although I don’t feel ill at all, I totally respect the rules and have gone into self-isolation. I will do everything to be 100 per cent fit for the upcoming Rally Italia Sardegna (3 – 6 June). Mikkelsen holds a 35-point lead after victory at Rallye Monte-Carlo and second at Arctic Rally Finland. Broken suspension wrecked his Croatia Rally challenge, but he still scored well after recovering to fifth and claiming maximum bonus points in the Wolf Power Stage.
But on the other hand Emilio Fernandez and Ruben Garcia joined us in the WRC 3 category alongside Fabrizio Zaldivar – Carlos del Barrio and Emil Lindholm – Reeta Hämäläinen. Marco Bulacia and Marco del Ohannesian were our pair in WRC 2.
Bulacia and del Ohannesian started the rally not in the way they wanted, but after changes to suspension setups, they found the rhythm. They picked up the pace, it was not enough for the podium but on the Power Stage they had the second best time. They managed to score important points at the end of the day.
In WRC 3, Fabrizio Zaldivar – Carlos del Barrio were sixth with their clean and risk-free driving. This was young driver’s first WRC 3 event on gravel. Our second Latin American duo Emilio Fernandez and Ruben Garcia chose to follow the same strategy and finished the rally in 13th place.
Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen had a great start and and they were second in category when things began to go downhill. They had to stop in the fifth stage and fell to 12th place. In the sext stage they stopped again due to a puncture and lost position again but this was not the end of their troubles. In the seventh stage, again they had a puncture but they ran out of spare tires so, they had to complete the stage on the rim. These incident brought our duo to 17th place but they were not giving up. They picked up the pace and finished the rally in 10th place. Their pace was so good, they even won the infamous Fafe, which was also the Power Stage.
We will be stronger in Rally Sardegna, which will take place in two weeks time.