PEUGEOT TOTAL'S FINAL RALLY IS CUT SHORT The first leg of the Rally Australia proved to be the very last for the Peugeot Total team, who lost both cars on the opening morning. Marcus Gronholm broke his front- right suspension on SS7,...
PEUGEOT TOTAL'S FINAL RALLY IS CUT SHORT
The first leg of the Rally Australia proved to be the very last for the Peugeot Total team, who lost both cars on the opening morning. Marcus Gronholm broke his front- right suspension on SS7, while Daniel Carlsson went off the road a kilometre and a half after the start of SS3.
Marcus was in third place and just eight seconds off the lead despite two punctures, when he felt his front-right suspension collapse. He finished the stage, losing more than a minute, but stopped on the road section back to service in Perth to try to fix the damage. Marcus managed to make running repairs using some nuts taken off the three undamaged shock absorbers, but one wheel was still rubbing against the arch. Unfortunately Australian police are unforgiving when it comes to traffic law enforcement, and with increasingly dense smoke coming from the affected wheel, they forced Marcus to end his rally on the spot.
Marcus Gronholm : "On the preceding stage, I touched a rock on the apex of a corner. At the end of the stage I checked for damage, but the suspension seemed to be fine : there was just a bit of damage to a wheel. After 12 kilometres of the following stage the front-right suspension suddenly collapsed on a right-hand corner. I really do not understand what could have happened, as I did not feel anything at all. It's a real shame to end what has been a fantastic career at Peugeot like this. I really wanted to win here, in order to finish with a 19th victory ! "
Daniel Carlsson : "It was the first time I was competing here and unfortunately the notes that I made during the recce were not correct. I arrived at a corner much too quickly and we started to roll. The car ended up on its wheels, but then it suddenly caught fire. We got out quickly before it went up completely. "
Jean Pierre Nicolas : "Daniel Carlsson's mistake was unacceptable, given that we gave him very clear instructions to take away any pressure. It's very disappointing. We do not know the cause of Marcus Gronholm's problem for the moment. Sadly, it has deprived us of a victory that was entirely possible and hoped for by all our team. We were all extremely motivated before the start of our last participation in the World Rally Championship. "