The Joao Ramos/Pedro Rey duo were not particularly happy at Baja Dehesa Extremadura, as they were forced to retire on day two, after a light touch on a wall that damaged the suspension triangle of the Toyota Hilux T1+ of the Toyota Gazoo. Racing Caetano Portugal. “These are racing situations, but it happened when I had already overcome the stress resulting from a poorly scheduled race, a bad roadbook, poorly qualified stewards and suffering a puncture. After these episodes, I was already imposing a very strong pace, from Lorenzo Rossa was kicking up dust. That meant I recovered the time, but unfortunately in a tight spot, in the middle of the wall, the rear of the Hilux hit a little to the left, projecting the car to the right and damaging the suspension triangle on impact.”Ramos explained while summarizing his participation in the second race of the AM|48 All-Terrain Portugal Championship (CPTT) held in the Badajoz region of Spain.
“I withdrew at my best moment, in terms of speed, which made me very sad. I knew I would never win the CPTT race after the puncture, but I had a chance to finish third, which would be great. However, we lost that opportunity and also to score points in the European Championship, although in the next case and in the future, it may drop a score in both championships”.Added Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Caetano Portugal who was not at all satisfied with the work organized by the Spanish race.
“I never imagined, and it has nothing to do with my withdrawal, that the Spanish organizers would make so many mistakes by writing the wrong time, such as in regulation. With that, fines followed and as far as I know the official classification will only be available on Wednesday [19 abril]. Even the route marking left many questions and was somewhat confusing. In Portugal, such a national organization can hardly continue in the 2024 championship…”Joao Ramos insisted.
As for the future, he insists that he will continue testing to improve the performance of the Toyota Hilux T1+: “We have already made some improvements by using stiffer springs to make the Hilux more stable, but we are going to do more kilometers to adapt to the type of race ahead. On Sunday, I even thought of doing the third day of this Baja Extremadura in ‘test mode’, but faced with an organization with many flaws, I decided that it was not worth exposing myself to unnecessary risks, because, from what I saw and felt on Saturday, I was confident. “I wasn’t going to drive along and calmly and think about the evolution of the car.”.
The next round of the AM|48 All-Terrain Portugal Championship will be the Baja TT Norte de Portugal (5/6 May), in the Transmontana region of Mursa and neighboring municipalities.