RK M-Sport World Rally Team’s Robert Kubica overcame yesterday’s misfortune to finish his first experience of Rally Australia in a strong ninth place overall. Driving well, the Pole is finding the art of gravel rallying more enjoyable with each new kilometre.
The rally started well for Robert who adopted a measured approach to extract maximum experience from the difficult speed tests. Despite losing time and damaging the rear suspension of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC when distracted by an official FIA warning light during yesterday’s second pass of Valla (SS12), he battled on courageously and made it back to service.
As the M-Sport technicians made a full repair, he was keen to get back out on the stages today. The final stint saw the crews tackle two loops of three technically challenging stages in the forests north of Coffs Harbour and Robert continued to impress with a highly consistent performance.
Keeping his Fiesta firmly planted to the gravel tracks, the Formula One race winner leaves his first venture down under with a solid points finish and a wealth of knowledge. Taking more and more enjoyment from loose-surface rallying, Robert has significantly improved his driving on gravel and will be looking for further gains as the championship returns to the surface later this year.
Robert Kubica (9th) said:
“We’ve had a good weekend with some very good driving on these difficult stages. I think the biggest challenge was that the character of the stages was changing all the time so that took a bit of getting used to but I think we did a good job.Ok, there was a mistake yesterday, but that was not a fault through driving. I was distracted by a warning light and it cost us quite a lot of time but we made it to the finish. The most important thing is that I have enjoyed this event and that I have enjoyed driving on gravel. I think that we’ve been driving well on this surface and I hope we can show some more progress on this surface later in the season.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Robert [Kubica] was a bit unfortunate yesterday but the most important thing is that he has made it to the end of this rally with some good experience of these difficult stages. He has driven well all weekend and I think that he is really starting to enjoy driving on gravel which is encouraging to see.”