OMV Peugeot Norway WRT in excellent fourth place
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has every reason to be content with day two of the "Cyprus Rally 2006", as well. After 16 of 22 special stages Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor lie in excellent fourth place and are the best privateers. Henning Solberg and Cato Menkerud have fought their way back into scoring range following their mishap on Friday and are in eight place after leg two.
Tactics rule with Stohl
Manfred Stohl finished the second day of the Cyprus Rally, the twelfth run to the FIA World Rally Championship, in fourth place. The 34-year-old OMV driver is basically content with this result since the three works cars in front of him seem currently out of reach. Therefore the missing grip in the morning only played a minor part. Stohl: "Sebastien Loeb is probably the best driver and the Ford works team currently has got the best material. Thus the result explains itself. But I still haven't given up hope. The rally only ends on Sunday on the finish ramp. And it is still a whole leg to go until then." And the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has consolidated fourth place - thanks to a tactically masterful performance by Stohl with which he even left several works cars in his wake.
Right hot, left cold
The morning of the second day once again didn't go according to plan at all for OMV Teammate Henning Solberg. The Norwegian complained of brake problems at the service. Solberg: "The brake disks on the front right side overheat so much that they glow while the ones on the left remain ice cold. That makes it very hard to stabilise the Peugeot 307 WRC. But we will keep fighting for WRC-points. This is a rally where time differences are measured in minutes. It doesn't mean a thing when you are only seconds apart." And the OMV duo Solberg/Menkerud is once again on scoring course after two days. Eighth intermediate place would mean one WRC-point and three points for the manufacture ranking.
Loeb: a league of his own
Just like at the last WRC-run in Japan Ford works driver Marcus Grönholm held the lead for one and a half days - closely followed by Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen Xsara WRC). And just like three weeks ago the French double World Champion only waited for a mistake by his Finnish opponent. Which came in due time on SS 14 where Grönholm spinned. Loeb immediately took the lead and extended it to almost 18 seconds on the following special stage. The phenomenon Loeb keeps impressing fans and rally-insiders alike. Last year's winner simply doesn't seem to make any faults. Grönholm's countryman and teammate Mikko Hirvonen, who profits by the strength of the Ford Focus WRC06, lies in third place in the intermediate ranking.