Top results for OMV Peugeot Norway WRT

o Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor finish in fourth place at the Cyprus Rally

o Sixth place wins Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud three WRC-points

o Sebastien Loeb invincible in Cyprus once again

The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has proven its status as best private team once again at the "Cyprus Rally 2006". Only the Ford works team also had two drivers within scoring ranks. Manfred Stohl already reached a fourth place for the third time in this year's FIA World Rally Championship. OMV Teammate Henning Solberg finished sixth and together they won nine points for the manufacture ranking which again brought them closer to the Subaru works team. Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen Xsara WRC) celebrated a hat-trick and extended the lead in the WRC-ranking with his 28th victory.

Getting the maximum

Manfred Stohl achieved all that was possible at the Cyprus Rally. Fourth place was the maximum for the 34-year-old OMV driver. For if the Ford works team and Sebastien Loeb are able to finish a rally without grave problems a place on the podium is close to impossible for a private team. But the remainder of the works teams as well as the best privateers in the world stood, like several times already this season, no chance against the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team. Stohl: "We did all we could and performed quite a satisfying rally. Of course, I would have loved to be on the podium but fourth place also brings us a little closer to Sordo in the WRC. The Cyprus Rally was as tough as expected. The great heat and the extreme road conditions demand everything of you during these three days." With 33 points to his account Manfred Stohl consolidated his fifth place in the WRC intermediate standings

Fight to the last

Henning Solberg, the Norwegian in the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team, fought right up to the last special stage kilometre. And it payed off. When his brother Petter Solberg (Subaru) hit a rock on SS 22 and had to slow down, Henning overtook the rally World Champion of 2003. Then Xavi Pons (Spa/Citroen Xsara WRC) came to a stop just short of the service and was awarded a five-minute-penalty. Thus Henning Solberg finished in sixth overall place. Solberg: "It was a kind of poetic justice for the bad luck we had on the first day. It was really a tough rally and an ideal preparation for Turkey in three weeks. We are happy about any place that wins us points and this also justifies our commitment in the FIA World Rally Championship." The OMV driver currently lies in eighth place in the WRC intermediate standings.

Top in manufacture World Championship

As best M2-Team, the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team currently stands at 59 points in the manufacture ranking and lies in fourth place. They won four points on the Subaru WRT (M1) and reduced the difference to 20 points. "But one has to note that we only nominated for twelve out of 16 runs in the manufacture ranking. Up to now we took four breaks. In that light our score is sensational. It is a great joy to be among the top players with both drivers as a private team. Manfred and Henning did a perfect job", says Jackie Bozian (Bozian-Racing), Team Manager of the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team.

Victory No. 28 for Loeb

It was quite a déjà vu. Three weeks ago in Japan Ford works driver Marcus Grönholm (Fin) held the lead until halftime. Then he made a minor mistake and Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen Xsara WRC) immediately flashed by his opponent. Same scene next station, Cyprus: Grönholm in the lead for one and a half days but then Loeb takes advantage of a spin by the Finn and also takes the rally. This meant the third victory in a row on Aphrodite's island and the 28th triumph in the World Rally Championship for the French double World Champion. In this year's WRC he is only five points short of successfully defending his title. Just like in Japan, third place went to Mikko Hirvonen (Fin/Ford Focus WRC).

-credit: omv