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MERC: Abdo Feghali Rally Turkey summary

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MERC: Abdo Feghali Rally Turkey summary
Mar 4, 2003, 3:20 PM

Abdo Feghali came in 6th in Turkey in the Junior WRC. The first World Rally Championship event in Turkey proved a demanding test of both man and machine. However mature drives from Ford Puma driver Abdo Feghali saw him finish sixth while many of ...

Abdo Feghali came in 6th in Turkey in the Junior WRC.

The first World Rally Championship event in Turkey proved a demanding test of both man and machine. However mature drives from Ford Puma driver Abdo Feghali saw him finish sixth while many of the Junior World Rally Championship rivals reflected on mechanical failures that destroyed their chances over the three days.

The worst late winter weather in the Antalya region for a century left the gravel mountain roads in terrible condition and it was only a remarkable effort by the organisers that enabled the event to go ahead as planned. The conditions were equally as tough as those encountered by the Junior World Championship crews in Greece last season despite considerably cooler temperatures, around freezing at times. Only seven of the 22 JWRC starters actually survived the carnage and with two of the seven events gone the championship is wide open.

Ford's drivers for this season's championship are relative newcomers to the World Rally Championship, none more so than Lebanon's Abdo Feghali and co- driver Joseph Matar who brought their Astra Racing Ford Puma back to Kemer in sixth place. Feghali was making his gravel rally debut in Turkey and, while he enjoyed the experience of loose surface rallying for the first time, found it a baptism of fire because of the conditions on the stages. "The car hasn't really felt right today because we broke the rear suspension on the first stage. I've just been making sure that I finished the rally - today wasn't about setting fast times. On the last stage I spent most of the time looking at Joseph's notes to see how far we had to go!"

Astra Racing team manager Luca Pregliasco was extremely pleased with Feghali's performance. "Abdo has spent today concentrating on reaching the finish rather than on his competitive performance. As soon as we get back home we will discuss the set up of the car for the Acropolis so that we can go flat out from the start."

Abdo Feghali now is in 11 place in the championship with 3 pts after just 2 rallies .

-duby miller

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Series Other rally
Drivers Joseph Matar