First podium place 2007 for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has every reason to rejoice. The second place of Francois Duval and Patrick Pivato at the "ADAC Rallye Germany" confirms the upward trend of the privat ...
First podium place 2007 for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT
The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has every reason to rejoice. The second place of Francois Duval and Patrick Pivato at the "ADAC Rallye Germany" confirms the upward trend of the privat team. On the final day Duval fired off a fireworks display of SS-best-times which put so much pressure on Ford works driver Marcus Gronholm that the Finn drifted off the road on the last stage and dropped back to fourth place.
Hat-trick by Duval in Germany
Especially on the first day Francois Duval made Germany-triumphator Sebastien Loeb's (Citroen C4 WRC) life a misery. Following six special stages the Belgian OMV driver lead by 1,3 seconds at the thenth run to the FIA World Rally Championship. After two spins on the second leg he intermittedly dropped back to fourth intermediate place. But then the 26- year-old turned up the heat, overtook Ford works driver Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) and put a lot of pressure on WRC-leader Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC). With five SS-best-times - out of seven overall - he also wrote the history of the third day.
A few kilometres into the last special stage Gronholm hit an obstacle with the rear end of his Focus and subsequently lost over one minute. Thus Duval's pushing had been rewarded with second place. Duval: "We once more tried everything on the final day and it payed off. The fight right up to the las kilometre was great fun. This second place at my Xsara-comeback means that I've reached the hat-trick now since I'd also finished second in 2004 and 2005. What's more, I'm only the second privateer to reach the podium this year. That says a lot for the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team."
Eight points for manufacture ranking
Despite the drop out of Manfred Stohl on SS 9 through no fault of his own (engine failure), the second place by Francois Duval means that the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has still gathered eight points for the manufacture ranking in Germany. "We are really very satisfied. A podium place is a great feat for any private team. Furthermore, we realised that we are able to keep up with the top. Manfred's retirement was very unfortunate, especially since he'd reached very competitive times at the beginning of the second day. We are on the right track and can be very confident for the next rallies. In New Zealand I'm expecting a very strong Manfred Stohl", explains Marc Van Dalen, Team Principal of the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team.
Six out of six for Loeb
Sebastien Loeb remains the unchallenged sovereign of the Rally Germany. The Alsatian decided all rallies in Mosel country that were labeld as FIA World Rally Championship-run so far in his favour. For six consecutive times he reached the top of the podium together with co-driver Daniel Elena. It was Loeb's fifth victory this year, the first since Argentina, as Marcus Gronholm had won the last three rallies. And there is more reason to rejoice for the Frenchman. Since Gronholm had dropped back to fourth place on the last special stage Loeb was able to shorten the gap in the WRC standings from 13 to eight points. Mikko Hirvonen finished third in Germany.