Burns leads Peugeot's Turkish attack. Richard Burns is spearheading Peugeot's assault on the Rally of Turkey, lying in second behind Citroen's Carlos Sainz at the end of day two. At the end of an arduous and incident-packed day, Richard...
Burns leads Peugeot's Turkish attack.
Richard Burns is spearheading Peugeot's assault on the Rally of Turkey, lying in second behind Citroen's Carlos Sainz at the end of day two.
At the end of an arduous and incident-packed day, Richard brought his 206 WRC home in one piece - unlike many of his rivals. The Englishman's fast and consistent run also secured him one fastest stage time today.
The 2001 World Champion was pleased with his day's work, and is determine to ensure the maximum possible haul of points for himself and Peugeot when the event finishes tomorrow.
"Today has been a good day," said Burns. "This is the sort of rally where you just have to try and stay out of trouble and concentrate on doing the best job you can. I've had no mechanical problems today, and I've been able to keep up a good, steady rhythm. It's been very hard on the car though."
Peugeot's biggest disappointment today was former leader Harri Rovanpera's retirement on the final stage of the day. The Finn hit a rock on the inside of a corner just two kilometres into stage 10 which broke a rear damper. He also had to complete the following stage with the problem. Although the best repairs possible were carried out at service, the damage to the car was too great to survive the final two stages.
Speaking about the incident on stage 10 that led to his retirement three stages later, Harri commented: "It was a corner where you have to be quite sideways and unfortunately the back wheel hit a stone which broke the damper. That was always a risk on a rally like this."
Reigning World Champion Marcus Gronholm struggled today, as he was running first on the road and sweeping away loose gravel for later competitors. Marcus had no incidents today and even managed to set a fastest stage time. He ends the leg 11th.
"Today was quite tricky, as it's not easy to be first on the road and it's also quite difficult to motivate yourself if you are not fighting at the front," said Marcus. "But on this rally we have seen that anything can happen, so we will just keep going and see where we finish."
There are still two Peugeots in the top six, as Gilles Panizzi has hung on to fifth place in his 2002-specification Bozian-run 206 WRC, despite losing some time by sliding off the road on stage 11.
"I'm quite happy," said Gilles "I caught the smoke from Feddy Loix's blown turbo in front of me on the last stage. It was like driving in the fog in Britain!"
Juuso Pykalisto, Marcus Gronholm's young protégé, ended the day just in front of his mentor in 10th, using a Bozian-run customer specification 206 WRC.
Peugeot team principal Corrado Provera commented: "We tried our best to fix Harri's car but it was clear that the damage was simply too big for the repair to last. It's a pity for Harri - he was in a good position to win."
Tomorrow's final leg of the Rally of Turkey includes five special stages, all but one of those being re-runs of stages that have been used previously. The first car leaves Parc Ferme at 0700 and the podium takes place at 1545.