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Mr. Embargo
3,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ford Chase World Rally Title in Perth

Ford could be celebrating a world title in Australia when the Ford Martini World Rally Team take part in the 13th and penultimate round of the 2001 World Rally Championship, Rally Australia in Perth between November 1 - 4.
The Ford Focus RS World Rally Car (WRC) currently holds a seven point advantage in the Manufacturers championship over defending title holders Peugeot, with just Rally Australia and Rally Great Britain remaining in the 2001 season.

If the Ford Martini World Rally Team extends their margin to seventeen points after the Perth round; the Blue Oval will be unbeatable in the Manufacturer chase.

Ford has one of the strongest line-ups of any team in the World Rally Championship, with 1990 & ’92 World Champion Carlos Sainz (Spain), 1995 world title holder Colin McRae of Scotland and the dynamic Frenchman François Delecour.
Only Sainz and McRae will be able to score points towards the Manufacturer titles, but from a personal viewpoint they will be keen ensure their chances of winning the all-important Drivers title.

McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist are currently equal first in the World Championship with Tommi Mäkinen, while Sainz and Luis Moya are just seven points behind in fourth place.
As well as a driver’s title on the line, the right of being the most successful rally driver of all time is up for grabs.

McRae, Sainz and Mäkinen all come to Australia with 23 wins to their name.
McRae is a two-time winner of Rally Australia (1994 & ’97) and is confident of his chances in 2001.

“Nicky and I have taken three wins in 2001, so we are full of confidence coming to Australia,” said McRae.

“I really like this rally and the next in Britain, so I can think of no better way to finish the season then by scoring two more wins and a world title.

“For the last few seasons I have come to Perth chasing other drivers. To actually be in the joint-lead of the driver’s title has taken some pressure off, but I’m under no illusions this will be a tough event.

Of their 23 world championship wins, Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya are yet to win in Australia; although they have finished second on three occasions (1990, ‘ 98 & ’99).

“Our 2001 season has been very consistent with podium finishes, but up until now no wins,” said Sainz.

“I’m overdue for a win in Australia, and for us to score the world title, Luis and I really need to win in Perth.

“Along with Colin and Tommi we also have Richards Burns chasing a world title, so it will be a very good fight in Perth.

To add to the excitement Rally Australia organisers have re-introduced the driver’s-choice starting order system.

This system allows the first placed driver to choose his starting position and not be forced to be the first car on the road.

Due to the slippery surface of the gravel roads in Western Australia, it’s advantageous to start behind other cars after they have swept the roads of the loose gravel.

Teams in the past have deliberately slowed on stages to elevate other drivers on the time sheets and therefore give themselves a starting position down the order.

Big supporters of the system are François Delecour and Daniel Grataloup.
“For sure it’s better for the drivers, but also the spectators who get to see us driver 100 percent for the entire rally,” said Delecour.

“It’s not right that we slow down to gain an advantage - but this system of the drivers choosing where they start will eliminate that.

“Daniel and I have finished third twice before at Rally Australia (1993 & 2000) and we aim to provide stiff opposition and help Colin and Carlos in the world championship.

“Our team is very strong and I’m hopeful that all three of our Ford Focus RS World Rally Cars finish towards the front in Perth.

Rally Australia will start on the Thursday evening at the Langley Park Superstage with the entire field to take to the twin-track challenge in reverse order.

Crews will return to Perth each night for the Langley Park stage, with the final day of competition centred around the spectacular SOTICO forest complex.

In a blue Galaxy
5,750 Posts
Hell yeah. They're gunna win and ford will win the championship. To think the first 3 rounds ford bowed out and makinen won. everybody wrote ford off but my how tables have turned.:s3
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