Daniel Oliveira’s ambitions to complete Rallye de France will have to wait for another year since a mechanical issue forced the BWRT driver to drop out of the event when he was at the verge of finishing this 11th round of the FIA World Rally Championship run entirely on asphalt.
The 27-year old Brazilian driver and his Portuguese navigator Carlos Magalhaes had been showing a great improvement running on sealed surface on board the Stohl Racing-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC. They were placed 21st overall and were hoping to build up their pace this Sunday.
The rain, which was expected late in the afternoon for yesterday’s stages, finally made its appearance during the night and welcomed the drivers this morning for a tricky final day of action.
Oliver a started the day with four soft Michelin tyres so as to have more grip and control of his Ford, especially when dealing with the narrow roads and sharp 90-degree junctions in the first two stages. There was a lot of mud on the road and water in the ruts when the cars cut the corners, which obliged the drivers to take extra care.
Today’s stages spread out around Haguenau, where there was a speed test running through the streets of the city where Sebastien Loeb -who clinched his ninth title in a row this weekend- was born. Indeed, there was a passage control in the place where Loeb grew up, Oberhoffen-sur-Moder, on the way to SS18 Bischwiller-Gries.
The leg kicked off with SS17 Vignoble de Cleebourg which was run on the central eastern boundary of France and it was there where Daniel took his first step into his main objective of completing the rally. But his hopes cruelly vanished when he faced troubles in the next stage.
“It was a sh ame; we were so close to complete the rally but something in the suspension system broke down and we lost the car’s steering” said Daniel. “We wanted to be in the final ceremony after a great effort the whole team made last week. Nevertheless, we are glad because we improved our pace on asphalt and we realised that, with more training, we can gain on confidence and be faster. That’s why we will continue working for the next rallies ahead” said Daniel.
The next round for Daniel Oliveira and the BWRT will be the RACC Rallye of Spain, which will take place November 8th-11th with its base in the city of Salou, 125km away from Barcelona.
Credit: BWRT – Lavadinho
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