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GP Week : Issue 81
Jari Ketomaa led all the way in SWRC in his Chinese team's Ford Fiesta S2000 but not without some worries on Day 1, due to a faulty engine crankshaft sensor. Martin Prokop initially held second place but on Day 1 he was overtaken by Xevi Pons, making it a Ford 1-2-3 result in the category. Skodas did not shine. Patrik Sandell made a slow start but eventually came fourth, while Nasser Al Attiyah's similar car was fifth, the last finisher. There were seven SWRC competitors on this event. Ketomaa was able to forget the many disappointments he had in Jordan. The Ford of Tuohino had an unhappy event, going off the road on Day 1, and then expiring with engine failure on the final stage. Fords have now won the last three SWRC events and Xavier Pons and his Nupel Ford lead the SWRC and WRC team's Cup by 20 and 17 points respectively. The Production Car category promised to be a closely fought battle between the Subaru of Richard Mason and the Mitsubishi of Hayden Paddon but Mason retired when he went off the road on the first day and damaged the engine. Paddon was then on his own, pulling consistently further into the lead from Subaru driver Emma Gilmour. Kingsley Thompson settled into a steady third place, giving local drivers a 1-2-3 result. Toshi Arai was the highest placed of the regular championship competitors after a bad start. He damaged the rear suspension of his Subaru on Day 1 and then gave up for the rest of the day when he also suffered power steering troubles. He eventually finished fourth and is now lying third in the championship standings behind Araujo and Flodin who did not compete here. And in other categories ... 46