IRC: Franz Wittmann Monte Carlo leg two summary

On the second day of the Monte Carlo Rallye Franz Wittmann/Bernhard Ettel already showed a lot of constancy at their first IRC-run After nine special stages the Interwetten Racing driver lies in overall 10th place despite a turbo damage on the...

On the second day of the Monte Carlo Rallye Franz Wittmann/Bernhard Ettel already showed a lot of constancy at their first IRC-run

After nine special stages the Interwetten Racing driver lies in overall 10th place despite a turbo damage on the last stage and thus remains best non-S-2000-driver

The remaining three special stages of day two of the Monte Carlo Rally, which had already each been completed once in the morning, offered completely differend conditions in the afternoon. On SS 7 and SS 8, for instance, the icy surface had been partly melted away by the sunshine - several sectors remained dangerous, nevertheless. The team of Franz Wittmann/ Bernhard Ettel still chose spikes, for safety reasons. It furthermore started to snow slightly once more on SS 9 which had been dry in the morning.

Thus prepared the two Austrians took up SS 7. And they improved their time of the morning turn by over two minutes, finishing eleventh. Due to the retirement of Vouilloz (accident) Wittmann moved up one place in the overall ranking and is currently in tenth position.

Franz Wittmann: "In the morning we had been the snow plough for the others but now, without snow and a lot less ice, things went much better. The decision to use spikes has naturally cost me some time but granted me security, on the other hand."

On special stage 8 Franz Wittmann was also much faster than in the morning. The ice had melted but the road was still wet and showed several patches of snow slush. The Interwetten Racing driver gave a brilliant performance and in the end, after 25 kilometres, was only 58 seconds behind the fastest driver, Hanninen.

Franz Wittmann: "Without spikes it would have been possible to be faster by half a second per kilometre. But that would only have won us one place on the stage at the most but not in the overall ranking where we are still in tenth place."

The snow hoped for by the two "ice-spies" Franz Wittmann sen/Jorg Pattermann didn't fall on SS 9. In that case the chosen spikes would have been an advantage. Unfortunately the Austrian encountered even worse luck.

Franz Wittmann: "After about seven kilometres we had a turbo damage and were forced to go at a crawl for the rest of the stage. This obviously cost me a lot of time. But we will manage to reach the service zone in Valence. There we will be able to exchange the turbocharger. Despite today's troubles things are still going well."

Until the last special stage Finn Juho Hanninen (Skoda S-2000) continued to give a superior performance at the top. Then a tyre damage had him drop back to third place in the overall ranking. Thus French rookie Sebastien Ogier took the lead after day two ahead of Belgian veteran Freddy Loix (both on Peugeot S-2000).

Tomorrow, Friday, the rally will return to Monte Carlo once more. Thereby a special stage over 30,42 kilometres, starting at 09.23, will be completed between Valence and the Monegasque capital. The finale of the 77th Monte Carlo Rally will then commence at 18.00. Thereby the famous and legenday "Night of the Long Knives" will see four further special stages.

-credit: fw

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Series RALLY