Marcus Gronholm has taken a magnificent fifth victory on his native Rally Finland, which has boosted him to second in the drivers' championship. Markko Martin completes a great team result to end the rally in third place. Peugeot therefore retake...
Marcus Gronholm has taken a magnificent fifth victory on his native Rally Finland, which has boosted him to second in the drivers' championship. Markko Martin completes a great team result to end the rally in third place. Peugeot therefore retake the lead of the Manufacturers Championship, one point ahead of Citroen.
The third and final leg did not produce any changes at the top of the leaderboard, as the gaps were too big for anybody to stand a realistic chance of making progress. Marcus drove carefully yet quickly to the finish, after having a final scare at first service in the morning. An oil leak was detected in the power steering, and the mechanics had to change the entire steering assembly as well as the engine mounts in less than 10 minutes.
Marcus has secured his 17th World Rally Championship victory, the second with the 307 WRC (after Finland 2004) and Peugeot's first win with Pirelli tyres.
Marcus Gronholm: "It's been the perfect rally for us. We knew from the start that we could fight to win, but it was only last night, when we got a one-minute lead that we knew for sure that we were going to do it. It's not been an easy rally -- we were always pushing hard and I was very worried about Timo. To avoid injuring his back any more I was definitely backing off over some of the bigger bumps, which cost us time. Although it's fantastic to win here, we still have to keep working hard to improve the car because Finland is not really typical of most events!"
Markko Martin: "I'm very pleased -- not so much with third place but more with the fact that we have been in a genuinely competitive situation here in Finland. This is down to many things, but above all the adjustments to the suspension have helped me a lot. For the first time I felt really confident with the car, and if we keep working hard and going down the correct route I am sure that there will be more good results to follow this."
Jean-Pierre Nicolas: "The rally has ended in a magnificent way with a fantastic victory for Marcus. The final day was more of a formality, leading to the result that we always wanted. The drivers have been fantastic, with Marcus who ruled in Finland and Markko putting in the best performance of his Peugeot career. Our Pirelli tyres have been competitive throughout all three days of the event. The conclusion is a result that allows Peugeot to retake the lead of the Manufacturers Championship, and face the last part of the season with iron resolve."