Azores ERC: Robert Kubica pull-out threat averted amid fog problems

The threat of Robert Kubica withdrawing from Rally Azores looks to have been averted after European Rally Championship organisers agreed to allow more time to make pacenotes following thick fog on Wednesday's recce

Azores ERC: Robert Kubica pull-out threat averted amid fog problems

This week's round of the ERC is set to be ex-Formula 1 star Kubica's first gravel rally in the series after his recent loose-surface WRC2 debut in Portugal.

But he had been reluctant to start unless more recce time was allocated as the field struggled to make pacenotes in Wednesday's weather.

The Pole was not alone in voicing his dismay as terrible weather conditions blighted the mid-Atlantic island on the designated reconnaissance day.

"There was a lot of fog, in some places it was impossible to write pacenotes," Kubica told AUTOSPORT.

"We have 20km of stages without pacenotes. That's too much. Without pacenotes I will not drive."

When asked if all stages that were affected by the fog were impossible to run, Kubica replied: "The first one, the longest one, was on the edge, but should be no problem.

"The other stages... one stage, the first half, was impossible and the second, like 9km of it, you could see for a maximum 10 metres."

Kubica showed AUTOSPORT a photo he had taken out of the windscreen of his recce car on SS16, where the fog was opaque from just ahead of the bonnet of his car.

"It's maybe five metres here," he said. "No, even less, four metres. I stopped for 40 minutes on one stage, hoping it would clear, but it got worse and worse. Difficult.

"I have no clue how the road looks or what is around."

When asked if he was aware of the huge 300-metre drops around the edge of the spectacular volcanic lake of Lagoa Azul, he replied: "I don't know! The stage with the volcano, I have no clue how it looks."

AUTOSPORT has learned that the rally organisers will now grant crews more recce time on both Thursday and Friday mornings.

The event is scheduled to start with three stages on Thursday afternoon.

At present the weather remains poor, with thick fog still in place at the rally headquarters.

shares
comments
Kris Meeke eyes Peugeot European Rally Championship seat after test

Previous article

Kris Meeke eyes Peugeot European Rally Championship seat after test

Next article

Azores ERC: Robert Kubica takes early lead

Azores ERC: Robert Kubica takes early lead
Load comments

About this article

Series ERC
Author Charles Bradley
Ireland deserves a WRC round Plus

Ireland deserves a WRC round

Drivers are in accordance: Ireland should be in the World Rally Championship. DAVID EVANS followed the Circuit of Ireland and was left with no doubt that the drivers are right

ERC
Apr 23, 2014
Kubica's rally to recovery Plus

Kubica's rally to recovery

Robert Kubica's rally speed is obviously there - in abundance - but he's got to stop crashing. Charles Bradley went to the Azores to get the lowdown on the ex-F1 star's comeback trail

ERC
May 3, 2013
Why Kubica can win on ERC debut Plus

Why Kubica can win on ERC debut

Former GP winner Robert Kubica makes his international comeback this week in the Canaries Rally. And David Evans reckons he'll win aboard a Citroen DS3 RRC

ERC
Mar 21, 2013
Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old Plus

Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old

As the IRC to ERC transformation takes effect in Austria, David Evans is excited that the IRC's promotional strengths will carry over - but still wishes the WRC could get some of that magic

ERC
Jan 3, 2013
Farewell IRC, long live ERC Plus

Farewell IRC, long live ERC

As the Intercontinental Rally Challenge prepares for its swansong in Cyprus, David Evans recalls the shortlived series' heyday - and looks ahead to its European successor

ERC
Nov 1, 2012
The 2011 IRC season review Plus

The 2011 IRC season review

The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season

ERC
Nov 22, 2011
Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally Plus

Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally

This year is the Monte Carlo Rally's centenary and, just as in recent years, there's no shortage of World Rally Championship stars turning up to give the IRC regulars a run for their money

ERC
Jan 18, 2011
The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010 Plus

The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010

The competition didn't run as deep as it might have, but there was plenty of fight at the front with six of our top 10 winning rallies during the season. Matt Beer puts them in order

ERC
Nov 29, 2010