Manfred Stohl: testing is heavy labour * OMV driver is trying to fathom the new car's riding quality * Big physical challenge for OMV Team * New routing of the Monte Carlo Rally is selective and fast Prior to the "Rallye Automobile Monte...
Manfred Stohl: testing is heavy labour
* OMV driver is trying to fathom the new car's riding quality
* Big physical challenge for OMV Team
* New routing of the Monte Carlo Rally is selective and fast
Prior to the "Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo" the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has completed about 100 testing kilometres last Sunday in order for Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor to get used to the new car. It proved to be a difficult task. The professional development during the 2006 season has profoundly changed the riding quality of the Citroen Xsara World Rally Car. Thus the first three rallies are expected to be a challenge for the OMV driver.
Actively seeking testing kilometres
Manfred Stohl is quite the realist following the first 100 testing kilometres that he completed in the new car last Sunday. Stohl: "We did the testing alone therefore we don't have any comparison. The team is working perfectly and the Citroen Xsara WRC is definitely a very fast car but we still have to fathom the riding quality that is new to us." Stohl further explains: "The Citroen Xsara WRC is extremely hard and reacts to the slightest movement. This costs driver and co-driver a lot of energy. I think that we will need about 1.000 kilometres before knowing where the limits lie. Since, as a private team, we don't have the opportunity to do this much testing we will have to use the rallies for that. Which means that we will need three WRC rallies in order to come close to our potential. In any case, I am convinced that I changed over from a leisurely end of the 2006 season to a labour-intensive beginning of 2007. This means a further challenge - which I am more than happy to meet."
Very fast Monte without snow
The new routing of the Monte - the Valence area was last completed in 1997 - would normally suit Manfred Stohl. But this time around the OMV driver has his doubts. The Austrian is convinced that the average speed will be very high following the first reconnaissance day on Monday. Stohl: "In spite of the partly very narrow roads the rally will be very fast if conditions stay dry. Up to now one can't see the smallest speck of snow and temperatures are so high that there will hardly be any icy passages. Thus the average speed will increase and we can prepare for a rally that will be close to the limits."
The Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo will commence on Thursday at 18.00 in Valence. Immediately afterwards two night special stages with a length of 46,40 kilometres are scheduled. On Friday and Saturday further 12 special stages will be completed before the rally will wrap up on Sunday with a super stage in Monte Carlo.
-credit: omv kronos