Stobarts survive Friday 13th

Stobarts survive Friday 13thFrom Ford Press [ 13/10/2006 ].
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Friday the 13th didn't prove too much concern for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team in Rally Turkey as the cars of Kosti Katajamaki and Matthew Wilson came home in 5th and 14th respectively.

Not only is today thought of as an unlucky day for the superstitious but it also the 13th round of the World Rally Championship and things were living up to unlucky 13's reputation. This morning driving rain and gale force winds forced three out of the first four stages to be cancelled. Stage 5 ran at just half distance because conditions were too bad for the medical helicopter to land if required.

Meanwhile on the first stage to be run, Kumluca 1, the Ford Focus WRC 04 car of Matt Wilson hit one of the many pot-holes appearing due to the road surfaces being washed away by the rain. Co-driver Michael Orr, engrossed in his pace notes, could not foresee the problem but certainly felt the impact shortly after! He continued with a dislocated vertebrae and several painkillers.

"These are the worst conditions that I've ever driven in. We had lots of under steer which made it so tricky and also the road surfaces were so changeable, there was just no grip," said Matt. 

But Kosti proved that Finn's don't just love snow and ice, they are quite partial to a bit of mud too as he slid his way through the mud posting some of the fastest times of the day.

"I am happy with how things went today although the conditions were very difficult. I actually prefer it when it is wet and slippery instead of when it is drying out. I'm hoping for more rain tomorrow!" said the Finn.

Team boss Malcolm Wilson added: "It was a great day for Kosti, the best performance he has put in so far. Matt found the conditions very difficult but he kept it on the road and drove sensibly which is what counts."

Saturday sees another seven tough competitive stages totalling 52 kilometres. The first car leaves at 8:00am.