After a brilliant second leg of the Rally Argentina, where Marcus Gronholm seized the runner-up spot after a brave fight, he decided not to attempt mission impossible by winning the event. Instead he finished an excellent second, with his team...
After a brilliant second leg of the Rally Argentina, where Marcus Gronholm seized the runner-up spot after a brave fight, he decided not to attempt mission impossible by winning the event. Instead he finished an excellent second, with his team mate Markko Martin sixth. The 11 constructors points they have earned means that Peugeot is still well within reach of Citroen at the head of the manufacturers championship.
The third and final leg of the Rally Argentina saw no major changes to the leaderboard, as the gaps established on the previous day had already taken the sting out of the competition. Nonetheless the day's action was of the highest quality, taking in classic tests such as El Condor, which starts off at an altitude of 2195 metres and finishes at 1432 metres, and Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesare, which climbs from 975 metres to 2080 metres. At the top of the mountain, the snow that had fallen two days ago still remained in small patches, and temperatures plunged as low as minus six degrees centigrade.
Marcus Gronholm: "This has been a good rally for us and second place is always a satisfactory result, but I think that I should have been closer to Sebastien Loeb. The car was very good over the fast and wide stages, but not so good over the slow and bumpy sections, where we still have a lot of work to do. Our tyre choice was exactly right for most of the time, and I think we did the best job that we could under the circumstances."
Markko Martin: "We still struggled to find confidence over the whole three days of this rally, and eventually decided that it was better to not take any risks and try for a solid points finish, rather than pushing too hard and going off. The conditions were sometimes extremely rough, but I felt happy with my tyre choices and I learnt a lot about the set-up in slippery conditions."
Jean-Pierre Nicolas: "As expected there were no big surprises at the end of the rally, with the gaps too big for our drivers to expect to make up places. Marcus drove an excellent rally, with no mechanical problems, and set six fastest stage times which were incredibly encouraging for the whole team. Markko Martin was quick in the fast sections, but lost confidence in his car whenever the route became narrower and twistier. He decided just to bring the car home, but he could have fought with Harri Rovanpera and Toni Gardemeister for fourth place. We now lose one point to Citroen, who are currently six points ahead of us. The next rally, in Finland, is a whole new ball game, and it should suit our drivers very well."