The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team had a desperate day after the cars of Matt Wilson and Luis Perez Companc both failed to complete the second leg of Rally Cyprus. But the 3rd car driven by Juan Pablo Raies made it home safely.
Both Matt and Luis were victims of the same 30 kilometre Foini stage. In this afternoons running, Matt left the road after finding himself unable to change down gear and therefore reduce his speed into the corner. The car wasnt damaged but was just too far off the road to rejoin. Whilst Luis lost his power steering on this mornings running of the same stage.
It has been a weekend of frustration for Matt, who is competing in his first full season of WRC. Yesterday, despite completing all special stages and sitting in 6th, a flat battery meant he was unable to make it back to Service. Today he was sitting 10th overall and in the Manufacturers points, even with his five minute SupeRally penalty from yesterday. And now he restarts tomorrow with a ten minute penalty from stages 15 and 16 today.
The car is in mint condition so it was so gutting when we couldnt get it back on the road. Wed had some gear selection problems on the stage before so I knew when I came into the hairpin that things werent good. I tried the hand brake but it wasnt enough.
Team Manager Malcolm Wilson added, It wasnt an easy section anyway but with gear problems there was nothing he could do. The main thing is that he gets back out tomorrow and gets more experience and he is still in with a chance of getting some points.
The 2nd car of Luis Perez Companc and Jose Maria Volta had been enjoying a good rally up until Stage 11. It all went wrong just 2 kilometres into the gruelling 30k run when his 04 WRC Focus lost power steering. Until then it had been a strong showing by the crew, who compete in selected events of the WRC. They had been sitting inside the top ten all morning.
Im obviously very disappointed as the car had been fantastic and just one small failure meant my rally was over. It was so rough out there and there was no way I could continue without power steering. Its hard enough as it is! The team will fix it today and tomorrow I will head back out and complete Rally Cyprus under SupeRally, said Companc.
The only Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Focus that came back to Service under its own steam was that of Juan Pablo Raies and Jorge Perez Companc, although they too had suffered yesterday and were running, like many others in the Cypriot event, under SupeRally.
We are starting to push harder now. Our pace notes are getting better so we are driving with more confidence.
The first car is out at 7:40 tomorrow morning and the competition includes a run through the crowded streets of Lemesos. The spectacle, billed as the Down Town Stage, will offer a unique experience for spectators both in Cyprus and further a field, with the stage televised live on Eurosport.