OMV Kronos Citroen WRT fights for last WRC-point
The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team fights for a WRC-point at the last run to the FIA World Rally Championship. But the first day of the Wales Rally GB was anything but optimal for Stohl/Minor. A place on the podium seems out of reach just like during the whole season. Therefore the OMV pair at least fights to successfully prolong their Wales-series. For they always scored points during the last four rallies here.
Incredible but true
Manfred Stohl could hardly credit it. When looking at the results after day one the 35-year-old OMV driver just shook his head disbelievingly. Last year he had finished second and at the end of the rally had only been 1:35 minutes behind winner Gronholm. This year it's already 5:38 minutes after the first day which means eighth overall place. Stohl: "In fact, it is only logical. We face the same problems like during the whole year. I still had hoped for more here. But even if I gave 150 percent I would win one place, if at all. But this would also mean to provoke an accident. Therefore it is our goal to win points for a final time. The conditions are typically British. Rain and a lot of mud. The difference is, normally I feel right at home when it's like this."
Light- and visibility-problems
Manfred Stohl's big gap on the lead also stems from light- and visibility- problems on the sixth special stage. "It was incredibly foggy. We couldn't see our hands in front of our face. Additionally our low-beam light didn't work optimally. So visibility was almost zero which easily explains the time-gap", recounts the OMV driver.
Loeb controls from a distance
The first day of the Wales Rally GB was under the sign of Mikko Hirvonen (Ford Focus WRC07). The two-times season-winner from Finland reached five out of six best-times and leads by 39,6 seconds over his countryman and teammate Marcus Gronholm. Behind these two Sebastien Loeb (Citroen C4 WRC) controls his opponents. He lies only 18,3 seconds behind Gronholm. The Frenchman only needs a fifth place to defend his title. Even if it should be a tie he has more wins to his account than Gronholm which would be enough to win the WRC-crown for the fourth time in a row.
The second leg of the Wales Rally GB leads over seven special stages and 104,48 SS-kilometres. Thereby two turns with three special stages each (51,96 km each) will be completed. The highlight will be the super special stage in the evening in the Millenium Stadium of Cardiff. The restart will take place at 08.00 (local time). The first car will reach the parc ferme at 20.10 (local time).