In an attempt to simulate the conditions that it will face on the upcoming rough gravel rallies in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, Ford’s WRC team has made use of 10 tonnes of sand!

In an attempt to simulate the conditions that it will face on the upcoming rough gravel rallies in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, Ford’s WRC team has made use of 10 tonnes of sand!


According to , works Ford drivers Markko Martin and Francois Duval spent five days last week driving the Focus WRC2004 on gravel stages near Malaga, Spain. The tests were conducted in hot and dry conditions similar to those normally experienced in Mediterranean WRC events.


But when temperatures failed to top 25 degrees centigrade, Ford’s technical director Christian Loriaux instructed the team’s mechanics to try and more accurately simulate the dusty environment. The mechanics’ answer was 10 tonnes of sand, which they laid on a 25-metre corner section of the stage.


“The stage was dry and dusty already,” said Duval’s engineer, Chris Gray. “But Christian wanted to test the Focus in the type of extreme conditions we might face on the next three events”.


M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson said the team, which was also extensively testing modifications to its suspension, was determined to retain its position on top of the drivers’ and manufacturers’ points standings.


“I wouldn’t say the revisions (to the suspension) are radical,” Wilson said. “We’ve never had a problem with the suspension on rough gravel, but this test could put us ahead of the rest. Look at New Zealand. On one stage, 1,1 seconds separated four cars. You need to try everything to gain an advantage these days.”

Original article from Car