OMV Kronos Citroen WRT defends 5th overall place The OMV Kronos Citroen WRT has defended its good fifth place on the second day of the "Rallye RACC Catalunya", the eleventh run to the FIA World Rally Championship. Furthermore, Francois Duval...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT defends 5th overall place
The OMV Kronos Citroen WRT has defended its good fifth place on the second day of the "Rallye RACC Catalunya", the eleventh run to the FIA World Rally Championship. Furthermore, Francois Duval (Bel) and his French co Patrick Pivato in the Citroen Xsara WRC even extended their lead on their immediate pursuer, Subaru-driver Petter Solberg (Nor), to up to over 33 seconds. This was also due to two third places on special stages 7 and 10. Tomorrow, Sunday, it will be essential to secure this position since moving up seems improbable due to the rather big time gap.
It was a racy start into the second day of the Rally of Spain by Francois Duval. Immediately, on the first special stage (Vilaplana 1) the OMV driver reached third-best time, only 1,1 seconds behind Marcus Gronholm's (Fin/Ford Focus) best-time. A feat that he repeated on SS 10. Thus the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team was able to extend the lead on their pursuer, former World Champion Petter Solberg, to up to 33,6 seconds in the end. This, on the other hand, also seems to be the limit since the gap of 45,5 seconds on fourth-placed Ford works driver Mikko Hirvonen will probably prove to be too big to make up on the remaining four special stages on Sunday. "Weather conditions were perfect today, no rain, bright sunshine. But we've already pushed the Citroen Xsara WRC as far as it would go. If no top-place driver drops out we'll focus on securing fifth place tomorrow", explains OMV driver Duval.
Corsica in question
Following their rollover on the third special stage on Friday the Austrian OMV duo Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor had had to retire from the Rally of Spain. And since it never rains but pours it is currently uncertain whether Stohl will be able to compete at all at the "Rallye de France - Tour de Corse" which will commence in less than a week. "The Citroen was quite heavily damaged in the accident. The FIA will have to decide whether we will start in Corsica. Currently everything's in a limbo", says the OMV driver.