OMV driver Stohl moves up to fifth overall place o OMV Kronos Citroen WRT is only 2,7 seconds behind fourth place o Feeling gets better with each kilometre The beginning of day two of the "Rallye Automobile Monte...
OMV driver Stohl moves up to fifth overall place
o OMV Kronos Citroen WRT is only 2,7 seconds behind fourth place
o Feeling gets better with each kilometre
The beginning of day two of the "Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo" brought a feeling of success for the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team. Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor were able to move up two places on the first three special stages on Friday. Thus the Austrian OMV duo climbed up from seventh to fifth overall place. But this should not be the end of the line. Fourth- placed Australian Chris Atkinson in the works Subaru is only 2,7 seconds ahead.
Faster would be foolish
Manfred Stohl didn't put his foot completely down at the beginning of day two - but right now this is the maximum that his conscience will allow him to do. The 34-year-old OMV driver nevertheless gained two places. And for the time being he is very content with fifth overall place. Stohl: "To drive faster would be foolish. I still don't know my limit. Approaching it takes time. I am quite surprised by my current place. But it makes me confident." Yet, the OMV driver is convinced that works drivers Petter Solberg (Fin/Subaru) and Mikko Hirvonen (Fin/Ford) in his wake will turn up the speed in the afternoon. He doesn't think that there will be many retirements since everybody will take a lot of care to get their car across the finish line at the first rally of the season. The brakes provided a moment of shock on Thursday evening. About three kilometres into the second special stage Stohl suddenly didn't feel any resistance. "I really don't know why but three kilometres before the finish they suddenly came back. But it was all I could do to keep the car on the road."
Citroen C4 sets the pace
So far the Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo is definitely under the sign of the premiere of the new Citroen C4 WRC. Sebastien Loeb (F) and his Spanish teammate took all five SS best times so far. The World Champion lies 6,6 seconds in front of Sordo in the overall ranking. Then there is a gap of 36,2 seconds to Finnish Ford works driver Marcus Grönholm. Following the 46 kilometres long first special stage on Friday the Vice-World Champion complained of a gearbox lever malfunction.
Further 46 kilometres
In the afternoon of leg two the 46 kilometres long special stage from St. Pierreville to Antraigues will once more be completed. Afterwards the second turn on the already once completed special stages over 16,48, respectively 12,8 kilometres will follow. The finish of the leg (1st car) will be at 19:56 in Valence.