15 Jun 08
Alongside Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg, co-driver Cato Menkerud will start Sunday’s final day of Turkish competition in fourth place overall, locked in a tight battle with Dani Sordo of the Citroen Total team.
Cato and Henning scored their first ever WRC podium on this event in 2006, and have promised to give Sunday’s stages their best shot.
Cato spoke to us after the recce to give wrc.com readers an insider’s view of the Turkish stages. Here’s what he said about Sunday’s final two.
Sunday in general
There are just two roads today. One long one, which is about 40km away in the mountains west of Kemer, and a short one, which is very close the service park. The long stage, Olympos, is the longest of the rally but apart from than there’s little to tell it apart from the other stages we have tackled in Turkey. The things is, they’re all closely packed in such a small area that they are all fairly similar. Personally, I think Olympos is a bit faster and less twisty than the ones on Saturday - which should suit Henning’s driving style. But ask him, and he’ll say it’s still very twisty and technical. So it’s safer just to say there’s a bit of everything...
SS17/SS19 Olympos, 31.03km
It’s strange but even though this is definitely the longest stage of the rally it doesn’t feel anywhere near 31km to drive. It feels more like 15; on the recce we both got to the end and couldn’t believe it. It’s twisty at the start, then faster in the middle - with some big drops by the side of the road - and twisty again at the end. I think a lot of drivers will be troubled by stones here. The road has been graded but we could see lots of rocks and stones lying by the side by on the recce. With a stage like this on Sunday, the leader of the rally through the morning pass might not be the one who goes on to win overall. On the second loop the conditions will be much rougher.
SS1/SS16 Camyuva, 5.5km
This one is the shakedown stage we drove on Thursday but run in the reverse direction. It’s very loose. Not like the mountain stages at all. The surface cut up badly during shakedown and became rough like hell very quickly so we only did a few runs. The organisers will run the grader through it before Sunday to make it smooth again, but I still expect it will get rocky very quickly.