WRC

Rally New Zealand: OMV Konos leg two summary

Testing during race for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team completed the second day at the "Rally New Zealand" comparatively problem-free. But the thrill is gone. Following the slip on day one tactics have changed.

Testing during race for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT

The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team completed the second day at the "Rally New Zealand" comparatively problem-free. But the thrill is gone. Following the slip on day one tactics have changed. Since a top result has become impossible for Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor they now do some testing under racing conditions. The OMV pair nevertheless moved up from 34th to 16th place.

Finding the right differential set-up

The dream of a top result had already been shattered on the fourth special stage on Friday. The ten minutes penalty for the drop out can't be made up even under the most perfect circumstances. Therefore the OMV pair Stohl/Minor did some testing under racing conditions on the second day. The search for the right differential set-up stood in the foreground. A problem the 35-year-old Viennese has been wrestling with throughout the year.

Stohl:"We are working very hard on this problem and try out all possible set-ups. Therefore it wouldn't make sense to take full risk since the danger of taking off is too high. And you also take it easier when you find yourself in 34th place after day one. There is no chance of scoring points even under the most perfect circumstances. Therefore we will continue working on the our set-up tomorrow, thereby investing into future rallies."

Loeb ahead in fight for seconds

Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC) was 13 seconds behind when entering the second leg of the Rally New Zealand. In a thrilling fight the three-times World Champion worked his way up to Marcus Grönholm (Fin/Ford Focu WRC) second by second and finally took the lead by reaching best-time on the last special stage. Currently Loeb lies 1,7 seconds ahead prior to the final leg. Mikko Hirvonen (Fin/Ford Focus WRC) remained in third place, thereby securing his podium place.

Outlook on Sunday

The third leg leads the field at the New Zealand Rally over seven special stages with 95,94 SS-kilometres. The overall length measures 280,22 kilometres. The restart will take place at 07:40 (local time) in Mystery Creek (near Hamilton). Highlight of the final leg will be the special stage "Whaanga Coast" which will be completed twice and counts among the most beautiful stages in the world. The finish line will be reached at 15:15 (local time), following the final super stage in Mystery Creek.

-credit: owrt.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Marcus Gronholm , Sébastien Loeb , Manfred Stohl , Mikko Hirvonen , Ilka Minor
Teams Citroën World Rally Team