OMV Kronos Citroen WRT in top-3 After ten special stages the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team lies still among the top-3 at the "ADAC Rallye Germany". Despite losing their lead in the morning of day two, Francois Duval and Patrick Pivato were...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT in top-3
After ten special stages the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team lies still among the top-3 at the "ADAC Rallye Germany". Despite losing their lead in the morning of day two, Francois Duval and Patrick Pivato were able to secure third place. And they are only 15,1 seconds behind second-placed Finn Marcus Gronholm (Ford Focus WRC). Bad luck, on the other hand, for Austrian OMV duo Stohl/Minor. Following a strong beginning on the second day they had to retire on the ninth special stage.
Top result within reach
Francois Duval was able to repeat his strong performance on the morning of the second day. Unfortunately he made two small mistakes on the first special stage on Saturday. The Belgian OMV driver spun twice which cost him about 30 seconds. And at the start of special stage two the engine stalled, to boot. Thus the top position was lost. On the 30 kilometres long Panzerplatte-special stage he reconquered third place by overtaking Mikko Hirvonen (Fin/Ford). But this is not enough to satisfy the 26-year-old at his comeback with the Citroen Xsara WRC. Duval: "Since we were leading on Friday evening I'm obviously not satisfied with the development this morning. We had the right tyres and the car was great, too. Now we will focus on second place since Loeb would have to run into really serious troubles for us to overtake him." He lies 15,1 seconds behind Gronholm. On the other hand, Mikko Hirvonen is only 0,5 seconds behind Duval.
The second day seemed off to a good start for Manfred Stohl. The OMV driver started his race to catch up by reaching seventh-best overall time on SS 7. But the next stage already held overheating problems of the Xsara WRC in store for Stohl. These continued until SS 9 when the Austrian finally had to park his car after about eleven kilometres due to engine failure. Stohl: "That is really tough. Things had started out much better today and I had been convinced that we would be able to make up several places. Now it is over and all we can do is stand at the sidelines. But if you have so much bad fortune then good luck is bound to return someday." The engine failure also prevents a restart within SupeRally on Sunday.
Loeb takes off
Right from the beginning of day two Sebastien Loeb (Citroen C4 WRC) made impressively clear who is master of the house in Germany. During 82 completed SS kilometres the five-times-winner left Marcus Gronholm in his wake by 26,7 seconds. Francois Duval is 41,8 seconds behind. Thus the Alsatian can control the field and is on the way to his sixth consecutive victory at the Rally Germany.