Press Release

July 8, 2003
Contact: Vittorio Bares
Team Xtreme Focus

Team Xtreme Focus Top 2-Wheel Drive Finisher
at Rallye Baie de Chaleurs!

Candia, New Hampshire -- The 2002 Ford Focus SVT of Team Xtreme Focus reeled in their first finish and top honors for 2 wheel drive at Baie De Chaleurs finishing 11th overall and first in P3 class.

"We're very excited about our first win and the over all performance of the car on its first finish. It was a great day for Ford, even though we came in as the top 2-wheel driver the other Focus of Reily's team was smoking us, unfortunately they had a minor off course excursion in SS C2 and that put us ahead overall even though they were not in our class. On top of that we had a fantastic service crew that kept us in the game." was Vittorio Bares' enthusiastic comment.

The race was held on the Gaspe Peninsula over the July 4th weekend on Friday and Saturday attracting nearly 5000 fans at Camp Brule and the final yumps of SS C1 and SS C2.

It was NOT a flawless weekend for the team. Six km into special stage A2 the Focus lost power steering and on the same stage damaged the oil pan because of an engineering problem with the skid plate and a rock sticking out of the middle of the road.

"We were losing about a quart of oil every 20 minutes, so we carried enough oil with us to finish Friday nights stages, after each stage, I'd just fill 'er up for the next one", said Forest Fyrberg the teams navigator.

Even with no power steering the team gained over 2 minutes on the closest competitors by the end of Fridays stages.

Friday night the service team worked diligently into the night to get the car ready for Saturday's stages, epoxy on the oil pan and replacing the power steering pump with an idler pulley.

"The team was fantastic, we resolved our issues Friday and were racing again Saturday. The Baie offers great technical as well as very fast stages. It's a great event" said driver/owner Vittorio Bares.

The team had a scary moment at the last jump on special stage C1. Vittorio explains, "In trying to line up the jump from left to right, we got into some soft stuff on the left, and without power steering, we just got sucked in and launched with plenty of air way too far to the left, ending up in the ditch on landing , we pulled it out. That was exciting for both the team and the fans I think and the car handled it flawlessly, a testament to the strength of the ProFlex suspension, the Yokohama tires and the Compomotive rims."

The team is looking forward to Maine Forest Rally next on August 1st.

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