Tuesday | 11 Oct 2016

Teams face Spanish race against time

This week's mixed-surface RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España presents not only a unique challenge for drivers, but its position mid-way through a quickfire trio of events puts teams under more pressure than at any other time in the season.

Thursday's opening stage in Barcelona will start just 11 days after Sébastien Ogier sealed victory at the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse. And with Wales Rally GB getting underway just 11 days after the end of the Spanish counter, teams will face another race against time to re-prep their cars in time.

As the only WRC manufacturer squad not based in mainland Europe, M-Sport faces the most complex logistical challenge, as it shuttles its Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Cars to and from events via its headquarters in northern England.

Allowing for the time taken to get its cars back to base after the Tour de Corse, M-Sport had just three days to prepare four World Rally Cars - for Eric Camilli, Mads Ostberg, Lorenzo Bertelli and Ott Tänak - before they were shipped to Spain.

At the same time, the team also had to prepare two R5-specification Fiestas for Marius Aasen and Sander Pärn, with all work shoehorned around a week-long test in preparation for 2017.

“With only three days to get the cars turned around for Rally Spain, the workshop has been a hive of activity," M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson acknowledged.

"Credit has to be given to every single member of our team at Dovenby Hall. This is an exceptionally busy time and everyone has put in 110 percent to ensure that everything runs like clockwork."

So, how do you guarantee that your cars will reach the rally on time? Here's how M-Sport's cars made the trip:

Sunday 2 October
1630hrs. Competition cars released from Parc Fermé in Corsica.
1800hrs. Competition cars loaded onto a road transporter which departs for the port in Porto Vecchio.
2100hrs. Transporter leaves via ferry from Porto Vecchio to Marseille.
Monday 3 October
0800hrs. Transporter arrives in Marseille and begins the journey back to the UK with two alternating drivers at the wheel. 

Tuesday 4 October
0900hrs. Transporter arrives at M-Sport and work begins. Competitions cars are unloaded, stripped, washed and rebuilt in gravel trim.
Friday 7 October
0830hrs. Final preparations are carried out on the cars before a shakedown test to ensure everything is operating as it should.
1730hrs. All competition cars are loaded onto the transporter.
Saturday 8 October
1200hrs. Transporter leaves M-Sport for Plymouth.
Sunday 9 October
1330hrs. Transporter begins ferry journey from Plymouth to Santander.
Monday 10 October
1230hrs. Transporter arrives in Santander and continues to the service park in Salou.
Tuesday 11 October
1210hrs. Arrival. Transporter pulls into the service park at Port Aventura.


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