Peugeot In Determined Mood For New Zealand Currently 3rd overall in both the Manufacturers' and Drivers' Championships (the latter with Marcus GrÃ¶nholm), Peugeot goes to Round 4 of the 2004 WRC season determined to improve its position. The...
Peugeot In Determined Mood For New Zealand
Currently 3rd overall in both the Manufacturers' and Drivers' Championships (the latter with Marcus Grönholm), Peugeot goes to Round 4 of the 2004 WRC season determined to improve its position. The French team has performed well in past years on the Rally of New Zealand, an event that gives pure driving skill a chance to come to the fore. Its four most recent visits have been rewarded with three outright wins, including two one-two finishes!
Peugeot Sport kicked off the year with the launch of the new 307 WRC in the championship's opening round, the Monte Carlo Rally. A fastest time on the very first stage of this event immediately revealed the potential of the French carmaker's latest challenger, the speed of which was also demonstrated in Sweden and Mexico. At the same time, however, the car has encountered certain teething troubles that have prevented it from exploiting its promise to the full. After finishing 4th and 5th in Monte Carlo, 2nd in Sweden and then 6th and 10th in Mexico, the 307 WRC is looking for even better results as the team bids to claim a fourth Manufacturers' title in addition to those already obtained by Peugeot in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with the 206. Meanwhile, Marcus Grönholm, currently 3rd in the Drivers' series, just four points off top spot, is equally determined to conquer a third title with the French make.
Since its return from North America, the team has carried out a significant amount of development work, including a particularly long test of nearly two weeks in Spain, plus a shorter session on rough gravel in the south of France.
Peugeot Sport is particularly fond of the Rally of New Zealand where it has always done well. The fast, smooth, flowing gravel stages take place to a magnificent backdrop and allow the world's top rally stars to give a free rein to their driving talent.
"Our car has already shown it is quick and, after all the work we have just put in, we should be competitive in New Zealand. I am looking forward to the start very much," enthuses Marcus Grönholm whose record boasts three wins in Auckland from four starts! "It goes without saying that I enjoy this rally and I think we have a real chance again this year," concludes the two-times World Champion.
After his participation in Rally Mexico, this will be Harri Rovanperä's second outing of the year with the Peugeot 307 WRC. The Finn has already scored two podiums in New Zealand with Peugeot. The first was in 2001 when he finished 3rd with the 206, plus a second with the same car in 2002 when he finished 2nd overall.