At the start of the second stage of this afternoon's loop, Marcus Gronholm came onto the Peugeot Total team radio to announce that he thought he had broken a driveshaft. He was left to complete the unlucky stage 13, as well as two further stages...
At the start of the second stage of this afternoon's loop, Marcus Gronholm came onto the Peugeot Total team radio to announce that he thought he had broken a driveshaft. He was left to complete the unlucky stage 13, as well as two further stages totalling 28 kilometres, before he could have the problem fixed at service. The problem was eventually traced to an inexpensive yet essential jubilee clip in the transmission, but the damage had already been done. Marcus lost nearly two minutes and his comfortable second place. The Finn is now fourth, with a 2m44s gap to the leader.
Marcus Gronholm: "On the road section after the short SS12, I felt the car pull to one side and at first I thought it was a problem with a wheel or a tyre. But then off the line on the next stage the transmission was slipping, so I knew the problem was much more serious. The only thing I could do was lock the diffs and try to carry on, but the car was extremely difficult to drive. We did everything we could but of course we lost a lot of time so the chances to win are gone. Now we just have to concentrate on scoring the most points possible."
Markko Martin: "Today was fine -- we had no real problems. We made a generally good tyre choice for all the stages and the car was entirely reliable. There are maybe some little things that we can change at service but basically we are concentrating on getting to the finish. There is not much else to report."
Jean-Pierre Nicolas: "It was extremely bad news for us when Marcus announced that he had a transmission problem this afternoon. Before then, he had been able to challenge Sebastien Loeb, even though the Citroen driver was slightly quicker than him on all the stages and was building up a small advantage. Now that he is fourth, it will be difficult for Marcus to catch and pass Carlos Sainz and Toni Gardemeister in front of him. But we must look out: the last leg of the rally is also the roughest, and we need to be ready to grab any opportunity which comes our way!"