CC Spaniard Pons sets impressive stage times with DMAS South Racing's Ford Ranger in Poland
Columna Medica Baja Poland 2016
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 7
August 26-28, 2016
For immediate release
Sunday, August 28th, 2016
SPANIARD PONS SETS IMPRESSIVE STAGE TIMES AS DEVELOPMENT OF
DMAS SOUTH RACING’S FORD RANGER CONTINUES AT BAJA POLAND
· Czech duo of Ouřednīček and Vaculīc reach Szczecin finish in 12th place
SZCZECIN (POLAND): Spaniard Xavier Pons produced another impressive performance in his DMAS South Racing Ford Ranger at Columna Medica Baja Poland, round seven of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, but a pair of drive shaft breakages on the penultimate stage deprived the former WRC star of a top six finish on Sunday.
Partnered by Argentinean navigator Ronnie Graue for the first time, Pons gained in confidence as the Szczecin-based event progressed and his times began to improve markedly. He was running as the third fastest driver in the sixth stage behind eventual winner Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and local hero Krzysztof Holowczyc before the technical issue forced him out of a top six position in the overall standings.
The Czech pairing of Tomáš Ouřednīček and Pavel Vaculīc crewed a second DMAS South Racing Ford Ranger and climbed gradually through the field to reach the finish in 12th overall.
“I suppose that’s racing today with the drive shaft failures, but that can happen and it doesn’t detract from a very positive performance by Xevi and Ronnie that saw them challenging hard for top three stage times,” said South Racing’s managing director Scott Abraham.
“It was a very good race, demanding and great experience for the entire team. We have very positive feed back from each of the stages and the performance of the car was excellent. This morning, Xevi was setting top three split times. We were testing new parts on the car and now we go back to the workshops and continue the development before the next test in Morocco.”
Ouřednīček and Pons steered their DMAS South Racing Ford Rangers to eighth and 10th positions through the opening muddy 7.08km super special stage in the militarised area, near Szczecin, on Friday evening.
The bulk of the action took place over two runs through a selective section of 176.33km in the area around Drawsko Pomorskie on Saturday. Pons and Ouřednīček safely negotiated the first pass in 11th and 13th places and held 10th and 13th overall at the midday service break in Szczecin.
Pons climbed a place to ninth, after setting the eighth quickest time on the second run through the stage, and Ouřednīček reached the night halt in Szczecin in 16th position.
Two runs through the Dobra and Lubieszyhn stage were planned for Sunday and the specials were modified slightly to run for 30.66km and 17.68km, respectively. Pons continued his steady and impressive climb through the field and the fifth quickest time enabled the Spaniard to move up to seventh position in the overall standings after Dobra. Ouřednīček held 14th.
Pons now had the bit firmly between his teeth and the DMAS South Racing Ford Ranger clocked the third quickest time in the Lubieszyhn stage and enabled Pons to close in on sixth-placed Martin Prokop. Ouřednīček climbed a place to 13th.
But the Spaniard hit trouble on the penultimate stage and the second pass through Dobra when he stopped half way through the special with a pair of broken drive shafts, whilst running as the third quickest driver on the stage at that point.
The final stage was shortened and Ouřednīček benefited from the demise of Dutchman Erik van Loon to climb to 12th overall. Pons was unable to continue and DMAS South Racing mechanics replaced the broken components in the stage and the Spaniard returned to the service park rather than tackle the final stage.
DMAS South Racing now turns its attentions to the Rally of Morocco, the penultimate round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, at the start of October.
2016 Baja Poland – positions after SS7 (unofficial @ 15.15 hrs):
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 4hr 59min 17sec
2. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Lukasz Kurzeja (POL) Mini All4 Racing 5hr 00min 38sec
3. Marek Dabrowski (POL)/Jacek Czachor (POL) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 5hr 07min 36sec
4. Jakub Przygoński (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Mini All4 Racing 5hr 10min 42sec
5. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Ilka Minor (AUT) Ford F150 Raptor 5hr 14min 35sec
6. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Bartosz Momot (POL) H3 Evo VII 5hr 19min 48sec
7. Jes Munk (DEN)/Rafal Marton (POL) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 5hr 26min 55sec
8. Eugenio Amos (ITA)/Rafal Tornabell (ITA) Ford F150 Raptor 5hr 29min 46sec
9. Boris Garafulic (CHL)/Filipe Palmeiro (PRT) Mini All4 Racing 5hr30min 53sec
10. Michal Maluszyński (POL)/Julita Maluszyńska (POL) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 5hr 35min 27sec
11. Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Stéphane Prevot (BEL) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 5hr 50min 14sec
12. Tomáš Ouřednīček (CZE)/Pavel Vaculīc (CZE) DMAS South Racing Ford Ranger 5hr 48min 47sec
DNF. Xavier Pons (ESP)/Ronnie Graue (ARG) DMAS South Racing Ford Ranger
For further information: contact Scott Abraham, South Racing, Email: Scott.Abraham@southracing.com, Tel: + 49 172 6662880.