Courtesy of ASM Motorsport, a motorsport company based in Barcelona, Spain, maintain, prepare, build event servicing and logistics and even hire out their rally cars for events as varied as the Rally Lahti Finland, the Dakar Rally, the EVO Challenge in the UK and the Arctic Rally in the Lapland. This company prepared and serviced the Ford Escort Mk2 piloted by Juha Kankkunen on the recent Historic Rally Portugal. This is their story from the event, with compliments to readers of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS.
The four-times world champion Juha Kankkunen, accompanied once again by Nicky Grist, has won an extraordinary and convincing victory in the Portugal Revival Rally held at the end of last month on the same route as the sixth rally of the 2010 World Rally Championship.
The Finnish driver, at the wheel of ASM Motorsport Team’s Ford Escort Mk2, supported by DMACK GRIPPA rally tyres, won with a margin of more than three minutes to second place finisher Jesus Ferreiro.
Kankukken practically flew over the stages of the Portuguese route to quickly put distance between him and
the other drivers. He and Nicky Grist
won the absolute first place in the World Rally Championships in 1994 on this event and after the rally the driver from Laukaa commented on how it had gone this time…
“Aside from winning, which is of course always important, above all I’d like to say that it has been a great experience and that both Nicky and I have had a terrific time. The Escort ran perfectly – it is not for nothing that they are one of the strongest of vehicles, which makes it possible to really have fun with this car in a gravel rally and we are really keen to repeat the experience with ASM Motorsport”.
The regular European drivers for ASM Motorsport, Ferran Font (Ford Escort Mk1) and Antonio Sainz (Ford Escort Mk2) also participated in the Portuguese rally, with the new Gulf colours, however both drivers retired from the rally after going off the road in the first section. Although there were no serious consequences, especially in the case of Sainz, both drivers decided not to continue in the rally at the second section with there being only two special stages and with stretches in very poor condition after the passage of the World Rally cars.
After this latest success, the ASM Motorsport team returns to base with barely enough time to change suitcases and get back on the road, this time headed for the island of Sardinia for the 2010 edition of the Corallo Rally, where Ferran Font defended his leadership in Category 2 of the European Historic Rally Championship.
To read more articles from HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, please download this week’s FREE eMagazine by clicking HERE.