Ken Torn said “it was really fun” on the last day of Rally di Roma Capitale, but admitted that he felt sorry for his weekend-long rival Pedro Antunes after he crashed on the final stage of the rally.
The pair had been battling throughout the whole event and it looked as if the Peugeot 208 Rally4 driver was set to win the opening round of the season before a hearbreaking accident on the final stage enabled Torn to take the win.
Speaking after the dramatic final stage, M-Sport Ford driver Torn, who had only a made a last minute decision to enter the event, said: “The plan for the final loop was simple, go flat out and we were pushing to the max on all stages and it was really fun to be able to drive like that.”
“It feels amazing, sorry for Pedro but we put in some amazing runs and at that speed it is quite easy to make some mistakes but it paid off.”
Both drivers had been separated by just a handful of seconds throughout the whole rally and Antunes had been leading going into the third pass of the Guarcino stage after getting ahead of the Estonian earlier on Sunday afternoon.
But as he went on to explain, his weekend ended in disaster: “The rally went okay until the last stage. We were with a good pace, fighting with Torn and congratulations to him because he did quite an amazing rally too.”
“On the last stage we were trying to push and we thought we don’t need to really push because Torn was behind and we won the second run through the stage so we thought were quite okay.”
“We were doing exactly the same time but it was a really fast section and when I braked and the rear of the car just went sliding. It wasn’t because I was pushing too hard, it was as if the tyres were used. The brakes were almost at the end of the rally and it’s what it was.”
After Antunes’ crash, this enabled Pep Bassas and Martin László to move into the final podium positions, although Torn’s closest rival on the final timesheet was now nearly four minutes behind him as a result.