Kiwis Dave Holder and Jason Farmer managed to get to the end of a very tough six-stage day on Saturday (CEST) in Portugal to hold fourth place among the seven of the 14 Junior World Rally Championship competitors still running.
It wasn’t an easy day for the pair, who rolled on the first run through SS12 during morning, and on the repeated run through the same 37.60km stage, had a driveshaft on their Ford Fiesta break.
Speaking from a tow truck taking them and the damaged car back to the service park in Porto, Holder says: “On last stage of today we did a driveshaft about 2 km from the end. Pretty unfortunate, but it’s a hard rally on these cars, so you can expect a bit of attrition.
“Earlier in the day we had a bit more drama, same stage first pass through in the morning, we actually rolled coming down to a tight, almost hairpin left. I clipped the corner a bit early where there was a tyre and under the tyre was a tree stump. We rolled onto our roof, got out okay and managed to find a spectator, so the three of us pushed it over. Then we got the car going again, managed to the stage and got back to service. The M-Sport boys did an incredible job fixing it within the time period allowed for service without any penalties.
“We went back out in the afternoon, actually in third overall. Our the plan was just to get to the end of the rally as we had a comfortable gap to fourth but unfortunately then we did the drive shaft. But not all is lost – we can re-join tomorrow under Rally2 regulations and even though we get 10 minutes added to our time, that puts us back in fourth. If anyone else has some problems tomorrow and hey, Portugal can throw something up, maybe we’ll back on the podium.
“It’s been a bit of a tough event so far, but we’re learning lots and we’re looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow.”
The rally concludes on Sunday with five special stages.