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Scott Pedder and co-driver Dale Moscatt’s Portuguese weekend has came to a disappointing end on the penultimate stage of the rally after a rock buried in the road snapped a suspension component on their Ford Fiesta R5.
“We were braking for a downhill tight left hander and we hit a rock buried in the ruts and it broke the caster arm that controls the suspension and wheel on the car,” explained a downcast Scott. “If we were on for a good result we could have limped out of the stage, but it would have done a lot more damage so we decided to end it then and there.”
This was after Pedder was forced to transport through the opening stage of the day after fellow WRC2 competitor Jari Ketomaa rolled his car heavily.
“I think the biggest disappointment for me for the entire weekend was not having the chance to rally the famous Fafe stage,” added Pedder. “That was something I was really looking forward to, the chance to rally past an estimated 100,000 spectators would have been incredible.”
Despite suffering setbacks on each day of the event Pedder was upbeat about some of the positives from the weekend. “When everything was going well we were setting times half a second a kilometre off the factory Skoda’s. That’s very encouraging for our first time out. It means I can now focus on the next three rallies, all of which should suit our car and tyres far more, with renewed confidence.”
“We made some good advancements learning the car, especially between my first run during testing a week ago and how it felt today. I’ve learnt what works with the car setup and suspension settings. We head to the next Round in Sardinia feeling like we’ll be a lot closer to the pace,” Scott continued.
“I was never expecting an easy time this weekend, I knew how tough it would be after we recced the very first stage. My aim was always to try to survive each stage and still set respectable stage times. Ok we didn’t manage the first part but I feel like I definitely managed the second.”
The next Round of Pedder’s WRC programme takes him to Rally d’Italia Sardegna (11th-14th June) and the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. The town of Alghero, on the west coast of the island, hosts the service park with roads that will once again test durability and speed. Almost all of the drivers who contested WRC2 in Portugal will once again line up in Sardinia.
“I head home from Portugal this week and will be straight into heat training for Sardinia,” Pedder said. “Every day I’m home I’ll be spending time in the sauna trying to simulate the 35 degree temperatures we’ll face. I experienced similar conditions when I contested the APRC in Malaysia and Thailand, so I have a fair idea what to expect.”
“With no testing allowed in Sardinia our first run will be at the shakedown. I have some ideas for the setup of the Fiesta’s diffs I’d like to test, and that will be my one and only chance before we’re straight into the action. I’m really excited to continue my WRC2 adventure.”