Wednesday | 25 May 2016

Practice key to Pontus’ perfect tyre swap

Pontus Tidemand highlighted plenty of practice as the key ingredient to the lightning wheel change which enabled him to win WRC 2 at Vodafone Rally de Portugal last weekend.

The Swede was unchallenged as he built a 90sec lead with a string of fastest times in his Skoda Fabia R5. However, a rear right puncture early in Saturday’s penultimate speed test threatened to undo all his good work as he conceded the lead to Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs.

But swift work from Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson saw them switch wheels quickly enough to complete the stage just 2.6sec adrift of Fuchs in the overall standings. Tidemand then pulled clear again to seal the win by 1min 21.1sec.

“We practised tyre changes before and I knew what my lead was,” said Tidemand. “It’s not ideal doing it on the stage, but we did it very quickly. We had quite a big lead but when you get one puncture you start thinking if I get one more it could be hard.”

His win followed second place in Sweden and promoted Tidemand to third in the points. He has started two rounds less than championship leader Elfyn Evans and one fewer than second-placed Fuchs.

“We worked really hard before the rally to prepare and the team has put a lot of effort to make the car good so now it has paid off. It’s a fantastic feeling. It was a tough rally and it wasn’t easy to find a balance to be quick and also not to do any mistakes or destroy the car,” he added.

More News