31 Jul 08
Phil Short, sporting advisor to the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, gives wrc.com his verdict on this year’s stages and the weather prospects for the days to come:
“In the last week or so the weather has been quite good and the stages are generally dry, although during the summer there has been a fair bit of rain so underneath there is still some moisture. However, we are expecting a cold weather front to pass through sometime tonight [Thursday] and into Friday morning which could bring a few showers.
“I’m not expecting a lot of rain, but maybe some localised showers which will soften the surface a little. That may help the situation for the drivers because they are reporting that the surface is quite loose. A bit of moisture would help to bind that together.
“After Friday I’m expecting the weather to improve again - a bit of sun, a bit of cloud but generally cooler. At shakedown the temperature was over 20 degrees Celsius, but once the cold front passes I’m expecting that to come down to between 15 and 18 degrees. It will probably stay like that for Saturday and Sunday.
On the whole the weather conditions this year are fine and there’s nothing unusual for the drivers to contend with. One thing they will have to watch for, however, is big ruts and rocks on the road when stages are repeated. The roads in Finland often cut up quite badly on the second pass and this year, with such a large entry list, I expect the risk of punctures will be greater than usual.”