Rally / 30 August 2011

Martin Kangur shows fighting spirit in Barum Czech Rally Zlin

Martin Kangur and Andreas Ots secured valuable points at this year?s Barum Czech Rally Zlin, finishing 6th in the 2WD category. However the result was bitter-sweet for Kangur, as his competitive Civic suffered mechanical failure and forced the duo to undertake a dramatic fight back from 19th place.

Kangur, at the wheel of the Catwees-Honda Civic Type R, had started the second day of the 7th round of the IRC strongly, setting the fastest time in the first stage in the 2WD category. But in the 4th Special Stage, the longest (28,69 km) in the Czech rally, all went wrong for the young Estonian driver.

?At 3 km from the finish, one of the drive shafts broke. Until that moment, the car felt superb. We were convinced that we had the speed and that we could challenge for a podium finish. But with that incident, we lost two minutes so all we could do was fight back?? said the disappointed Estonian.

The incident caused Kangur-Ots to drop back to 19th place in the 2WD category.  But after the car was repaired, Martin began to attack the field, starting with the fastest time in the next 6th special stage?

Pierernesto Pagani, JAS Motorsport?s engineer supervising the Honda Racing Customer Support operation in Zlin said: ?The fact that Martin was the fastest driver in 2WD five times; that he could climb back to 6th place overall in the 2WD category; and that he secured Honda valuable points, says a lot about his talents and the potential of the Honda Civic Type R. Martin drove a perfect competition here. It is really unfortunate that he had to suffer from this extremely rare shaft failure, for which he is absolutely not to blame. The upcoming Mecsek Rally is very similar to the special stages from the Barum, so I?m convinced he will do well in Hungary.?

The Barum wasn?t easy for experienced Hungarian Janos Puskadi and co-driver Barna Gonor either, who have competed at the rally three times before. Indeed, before the start of the second leg Puskadi preferred to call it a day!

?We were experiencing problems right from the start.? said Puskadi. ?I drove a little too intense in the second stage, hit a rock and had two punctures. In the 3rd special stage the driveshaft broke, forcing us to proceed in one-wheeldrive, which wore out the clutch. After the repair, I then missed my braking point and hit a tree, damaging the windscreen. At that moment, I realized it just wasn?t our day and decided to retire. I?m now going to concentrate on my home rally, where I am sure I can secure a good result.?

Czech Honda-drivers Blatak-Vichtora, Pelech-Zimolka and Kobiha-Trifaj ended nicely in the Top 20 of the 2WD category.

Next round of the International Rally Challenge is the Mecsek Rallye (9-11 September) in the town of Pecs, in the south-west of Hungary.