The OMV World Rally Team (Citroen Xsara WRC) caused a veritable sensation on the first day of the Rally Cyprus. After six special stages or 121,78 tough SS-kilometres Manfred Stohl and Co-driver Ilka Minor are in second place overall -- and can ...
The OMV World Rally Team (Citroen Xsara WRC) caused a veritable sensation on the first day of the Rally Cyprus. After six special stages or 121,78 tough SS-kilometres Manfred Stohl and Co-driver Ilka Minor are in second place overall -- and can hardly believe what they've achieved so far. After this successful beginning the 32-year-old Viennese will do his all to remain in the leading group on Saturday, as well.
Replacement of gearbox payed off
After three special stages, as the OMV driver lay in fourth place, the gearbox had to be replaced at the service. From this point on the only way was up. Stohl flawlessly completed the remaining three special stages. "I couldn't say I did anything different from Sardinia. Actually, I still don't believe this result. But I'm feeling much more confident in the Citroen right now which enables me to approach the limit. Furthermore, we made an excellent choice of tyres. Since I go easy on my tyres I can use narrower tyres than other teams. That does make a difference here", the OMV driver explains.
Best ranking of an Austrian
No Austrian ever has finished a leg at a full-blown run to the World Rally Championship in second place before. This result incidently also represents the best ranking of a private team in the WRC. The OMV driver furthermore made history with his second overall time on SS 5. "That's all very nice, indeed, but there is still a lot to come. We'll have to try to keep up this performance for the remaining two days. Dreams of glory won't help us now."
Everything but rain -- like 2002
109,56 special stage-kilometres, split into six SS's, are scheduled for Saturday. The centerpiece is the 30,33 kilometres long SS "Foini" that will be completed twice -- a stage that calls up anything but fond memories for Manfred Stohl. When he last competed in Cyprus in 2002 (Ford Focus WRC) the OMV team was surprised by a cloudburst right in the middle of the stage. "The road was almost impassable and we lost a lot of time", Co-driver Ilka Minor remembers.