Last Day Progress for Peugeot Peugeot drivers Marcus Gronholm and Freddy Loix have finished fourth and seventh respectively on the Rally de France-Tour de Corse, scoring valuable World Championship points. The final leg of this classic event...
Last Day Progress for Peugeot
Peugeot drivers Marcus Gronholm and Freddy Loix have finished fourth and seventh respectively on the Rally de France-Tour de Corse, scoring valuable World Championship points.
The final leg of this classic event consisted of four asphalt stages split into two loops of two with central service in the port of Ajaccio. The surfaces gradually dried out after heavy overnight rain, but the treacherous corners and constantly varying grip provided an awesome challenge right up to the end.
Marcus started the day fifth, and concentrated on trying out settings which will be useful on the all-asphalt Catalunya Rally in two week's time. He kept up a strong pace – setting second-fastest time twice today – to make sure of fourth place and continue the asphalt development of the all-new Peugeot 307 WRC. His car performed faultlessly throughout the leg, and he ended up half a minute off a podium place.
"It's been a long and tough three days," said the two-time World Champion. "I started off with little confidence in the car's handling but the feeling got a bit better as I made a few small changes to the set-up. We were also testing a few things which will be useful for the asphalt of Catalunya in the future. This has not been an easy rally, but I have not done so much testing with the car in these sorts of conditions."
Freddy's confidence took a blow on the opening leg, when he could not find a set-up which suited his driving style. But as the rally progressed, he worked with Peugeot's engineers to find a solution which enabled him to move up into the points. With his position firmly consolidated by the final day, Freddy's priority was just to get to the finish.
"I never really recovered from the opening day," said the Belgian. "However, things got a little better all the time and on the final leg I was quite comfortable with the car. We were able to try some settings for Catalunya, so this rally has been a useful experience."
Cedric Robert was forced to retire from a strong sixth place yesterday after sliding off on some standing water.
Peugeot Sport Team Principal Corrado Provera commented: "I only have one thing to say: well done to Citroen, and well done to Sebastien Loeb!"
The next round of the World Championship is the Catalunya Rally, from October 29-31. The event, won by Peugeot last year, is based in the coastal resort of Lloret de Mar.