Peugeot driver Harri Rovanpera has finished leg two of the Acropolis Rally in second place, and is aiming for a strong finish to the Greek event tomorrow. Marcus Gronholm was unfortunately forced to retire on the second stage of the day, following...
Peugeot driver Harri Rovanpera has finished leg two of the Acropolis Rally in second place, and is aiming for a strong finish to the Greek event tomorrow. Marcus Gronholm was unfortunately forced to retire on the second stage of the day, following some suspension damage against a rock.
Conditions were once more rough and rocky with high temperatures, although there were spots of intermittent rain throughout the leg. Harri's 307 WRC was entirely reliable throughout the leg, although he was slowed during the morning by a rock cutting through his tyre tread. Despite this problem, Harri set two fastest times today to seal his well-deserved podium place.
"Today has been very good," said Harri. "As always, conditions were quite tricky and hot but I tried to drive as naturally as possible and my times were competitive. The car has not given us the slightest problem all day, but the cut tyre that we had in the morning was a bit of a mystery – I don't think I hit anything. The biggest difficulty on the Acropolis is all the rocks: you have to be very careful to avoid them."
Marcus was the victim of a rock at the end of the day's opening stage, after starting the leg in fourth place. He attempted to fix the car on a road section and he started the following stage, but the damage was too great for him to continue.
"It's a big disappointment for me, and unfortunately it was just my fault," said Marcus. "I slid a bit wide on a corner at the very end of the stage, and hit a rock with the left rear wheel. That damaged the lower suspension triangle, and I knew it would be difficult to carry on – especially as there were three stages left to run before service. Eventually the differential ran out of oil and we stopped."
Under the trial of the new SUPERally system, Marcus Gronholm will start the rally again tomorrow but he will not be eligible to score points.
Tomorrow's final leg of the Acropolis Rally consists of six tough stages split into two loops of three. The first car has an early start out of parc ferme in Lamia at 0630, before the winner is expected back on the finish ramp at 1453.