The Racing Factory on all fronts at Rali de Castelo Branco
- Armindo Araújo aims for third consecutive victory in Beira Baixa
- Ernesto Cunha focused on CPR 2WD
- Diogo Gago looking for the first victory in Clio Trophy
Next weekend, the first tarmac race of the 2021 Portuguese Rally Championship will take to the road. In Rali de Castelo Branco, The Racing Factory will be represented by the National Champion in title, Armindo Araújo (Skoda Fabia Rally2 EVO), Ernesto Cunha (Peugeot 208 Rally 4) and Diogo Gago (Renault Clio Rally5).
After Armindo Araújo ascended to the championship lead in the Rally de Portugal, the team from Santa Maria da Feira is motivated and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. "We are in the first "sprint" rally of the season, the first tarmac race, in an area with very fast sections and a rally with very special characteristics. In this race we will be represented on all fronts by drivers capable of fighting for their goals and, as a team, we prepared ourselves to be up to the level of demands", Justino Reis started by highlighting, before talking about the arrival of the new Skoda Fabia Rally 2 EVO, 120 years edition, which Armindo Araújo will use in the race in Albicastrense: "It's a car which is completely equal to the normal versions, in a special edition limited to 12 units which had some 'facelifts' prepared by the Czech brand. Armindo, as well as all the other drivers of our team, has already tested his car in asphalt surfaces, in tests that went well and that give us indications that we will be prepared for this 'intermediate' phase of the championship".
The current leader of the Portuguese Rally Championship believes in a good result in the Albicastrense race, thus continuing a series of two consecutive victories in the race organized by the Escuderia de Castelo Branco. "We reached the third round of the CPR in the lead. We changed the track, but we will naturally fight for the victory and to keep the championship leadership. The tests went well, so did the adaptation to the asphalt, and we will debut here a new car. The moral of the whole team is high and we believe in a good performance.”
Ernesto Cunha, on the other hand, believes that the preparation done before this rally may bring fruits already in this first asphalt event of the Portuguese Rally Championship. "We already did a test in the asphalt in the car we are going to ride and we will test again with The Racing Factory in the Rali de Castelo Branco week. Both me and Rui Raimundo feel fully prepared to be in this race at the highest level with the 208 Rally4", he guaranteed.
Being part of Clio Trophy Spain, a competition dedicated to the Renault Clio Rally5, which is sporadically present in Portugal this weekend, Diogo Gago believes that "the fact that the race is in Portugal can be an advantage for us. We did a good adaptation test to the car already in the week of the rally and I feel we may be fighting for the victory in this race, even though we are up against some very valuable opponents who will certainly fight for the same goal. The motivation and focus are there, the team did a good job, and both Jet Carvalho and I want to take advantage of this motivation and these positive energies to come out victorious."
The Rali de Castelo Branco will take place from June 11th to 13th in Castelo Branco and Vila Velha de Ródão, with about 100 kilometres of specials.