WRC

Monte Carlo: OMV Kronos Citroen leg one summary

Stohl satisfied with beginning of Monte Carlo Rally * OMV Kronos Citroen WRT in seventh place after day one * Satisfying result for a straight tarmac run * Impressive comeback by World Champion Sebastien Loeb The OMV Kronos Citroen World...

Stohl satisfied with beginning of Monte Carlo Rally

* OMV Kronos Citroen WRT in seventh place after day one

* Satisfying result for a straight tarmac run

* Impressive comeback by World Champion Sebastien Loeb

The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team is satisfied with the beginning of the "Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo". Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor lie in seventh overall place following the first two special stages that were completed Thursday night. Taking into consideration that only 100 kilometres of testing with the new Citroen Xsara WRC could be done prior to the first run to the FIA World Rally Championship, the OMV driver did an excellent job.

Better than expected

Following the first testing last Sunday Manfred Stohl looked a little bit worried. But already after the shakedown on Thursday things cleared up for the OMV driver. At this point he would never have reckoned with fourth-best shakedown time. Stohl: "Getting to know the car seems to go faster than I expected. But there is still a lot of work ahead. We have to test the car's limits, but without getting off the road." For the evening the first two night special stages since 1997 had been scheduled. The OMV duo Stohl/Minor mastered the overall 46,40 special stage kilometres without any problems and reached the finish in Valence in seventh place, 1:01,7 minutes behind. Stohl: "It was truly a satisfying beginning. Taking into account that tarmac is definitely not my favourite surface we did a very good job. Each kilometre is important to us in order to gain experience. Thus we will be able to improve constantly. Therefore we won't take full risk on Friday even though scoring points remains our objective."

Loeb at comeback in a league of his own

The premiere of the Citroen C4 WRC also meant an impressive comeback for Sebastien Loeb. The French World Champion took two best times and currently leads in front of his Spanish teammate Dani Sordo. Vice-Champion Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC) lies in third place, already 29,1 seconds behind.

The 46 kilometres long heart of the rally

The second leg of the Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo will commence on Friday (January 19) at 6.50. Scheduled are six special stages with a length of overall 150,62 kilometres. Among these the 46,02 kilometres long special stage "St. Pierreville - Antraigues" constitutes one of the longest stages in the whole FIA World Rally Championship. The heart of the rally will be completed as SS 3 (08.19) and SS 6 (15.17). The first car is expected back at the service in Valence at about 19.53.

-credit: www.owrt.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Manfred Stohl , Ilka Minor
Teams Citroën World Rally Team