Toni Gardemeister continues to impress. * Handling improvements for Didier Auriol * Rally roads get more icy as temperature rises The two Skoda Octavia WRC cars of Toni Gardemeister and Didier Auriol are still running well on the second day of...
Toni Gardemeister continues to impress.
* Handling improvements for Didier Auriol
* Rally roads get more icy as temperature rises
The two Skoda Octavia WRC cars of Toni Gardemeister and Didier Auriol are still running well on the second day of the Swedish Rally. And it is not just reliability that makes the Skoda Motorsport Team look good. With just two exceptions, Toni Gardemeister has set times consistently within the top 10. At the end of leg two, he lies a strong 7th overall having completed 12 of the total 17 special stages.
Didier Auriol, who lost valuable time on the third stage of day one, took the opportunity to improve the handling of his Skoda Octavia WRC. The 1994 World Champion said: "We made some changes to the suspension settings and the car felt much better. But I was disappointed with my stage times this morning. A lot more work has to be done to exploit the potential of the car under these conditions. It is useless to keep on experimenting during the rally so now we are keeping the car as it is and trying as hard as we can."
His team mate Toni Gardemeister was happy to finish the day 7th, having lost one place to Subaru's Petter Solberg who is now 6th. But the flying Finn is still enjoying himself, commenting: "We had very good results yesterday on the snow. The temperatures are higher today so the roads are a lot cleaner. We are running on a thick layer of ice now and we are able to set good times with the tyres we have chosen. We can go as fast as we can because the Skoda Octavia is really good here. We lost some time during the first stage because the others went a lot faster, but I did not have such a good feeling then."
Five stages remain on the final day of the rally, and most competitors can easily win or lose a place or two. The scene is set for a thrilling finale to the 2003 Swedish Rally, where the Skoda Motorsport entries are currently 7th and 14th overall.