Good third day for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT It was at least a conciliatory ending for the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team at the "Rally New Zealand". The third day went mainly according to plan which was mirrored by the times of OMV ...
Good third day for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT
It was at least a conciliatory ending for the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team at the "Rally New Zealand". The third day went mainly according to plan which was mirrored by the times of OMV pair Stohl/Minor. But more than a move up from 16th to 12th place was not possible. Yet, the fourth- best SS overall time on the longest special stage of the third day leaves room for hope.
Fourth-best overall time on Whaanga Coast
On the final leg of the Rally New Zealand Manfred Stohl was back in form. The OMV driver only lost 0,5 seconds per kilometre on the top during the 95,94 SS-kilometres. His performance was crowned by fourth-best overall time on the 29,82 kilometres long SS "Whaanga Coast", a true classic of the FIA World Rally Championship. In the end this meant twelfth overall place.
Stohl: "To me the rally was history after the first day. The second day was more searching rather than driving fast. But I am quite content with the final leg. Nevertheless: I'd expected more from New Zealand. But I somehow have to get used to the fact that this year doesn't go according to plan. When I've got grip than I'm competitive. When not I don't stand a chance. But we definitely won't give up on our efforts. There are still five rallies to go where a lot of points will be awarded. And I want to get some of them."
Smallest gap in WRC history
Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC) not only took his fifth victory at the Rally New Zealand but also scored a remarkable record. The WRC-leader won by 0,3 seconds over Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC). This constitutes the smallest gap in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship. So far the record had been held by Colin McRae (GB) who had won by 2,1 seconds over Carlos Sainz (Spa) in Portugal in 1998. The decision fell only on the last special stage (super special Mystery Creek) where Loeb was "only" able to catch up on 0,4 out of 0,7 seconds. With five rallies still to go Gronholm now leads by ten points in the WRC. Finn Mikko Hirvonen (Ford Focus WRC) came in third at the Rally New Zealand.