Podium shines like gold for OMV Peugeot Norway WRT Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor finish Rally Australia in third place Early attack on last leg did the trick Hirvonen celebrates his first victory in the FIA WRC The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally...
Podium shines like gold for OMV Peugeot Norway WRT
Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor finish Rally Australia in third place
Early attack on last leg did the trick
Hirvonen celebrates his first victory in the FIA WRC
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has done it again. For the third time this season they finished on the podium in a run to the FIA World Rally Championship. After Manfred Stohl in Mexico and Henning Solberg in Turkey it was once again the 34-year-old Austrian's turn to earn a sensational success for the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team at the "Telstra Rally Australia". In fact, an even more joyful one since the rally marked the 100th assignment by Bozian Racing, the French tuning wizards.
Immediately extending the lead
Manfred Stohl had a lead of 20,1 seconds over Xavi Pons (Spa/Citroen) prior to the last leg of the Telstra Rally Australia. And he wanted to extend this lead as fast as possible. On the second special stage of the day he finally destroyed the hopes of his Spanish opponent. The OMV driver beat Pons by no less than 22,6 seconds on this SS. From then on he controlled the action. Stohl: "I had put my bets on this special stage. Yet it surprised even me how well it worked. But in the end it broke Xavi's spirit." The last kilometres posed no more problem for the OMV duo Stohl/Minor. After Mexico this meant the second podium place in their most successful FIA World Rally Championship season so far.
Better once third than three times fourth
This third place was a special joy and satisfaction to Manfred Stohl. "I like this rally because of the high speed and the many fast turns. On the other hand the rally is completely unpredictable - which was proven by the many retirements. In any case, I am overjoyed that I could repeat last year's third place. Moreover, it was high time for another podium place after having finished fourth three times already this year. And I like one third place much better than three fourth ones ", explained the OMV driver. Stohl was able to defend fifth place in the World Championship intermediate ranking. Furthermore, two rallies prior to the finish he is only three points behind fourth-placed Spaniard Daniel Sordo.
At the beginning of the Rally Australia Bozian Racing, the tuning wizards of the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team, were presented with a huge tart on the occasion of their 100th assignment in the FIA World Rally Championship. And Manfred Stohl's third place definitely sweetened this pie. "We are very proud of Manfred. His was the biggest present for our anniversary. The place on the podium strengthens our position as most successful manufacture team in the M2 this season. And I think that we will have just as much fun in New Zealand and Wales ", said Jackie Bozian, Team Manager of the OMV Peugeot Norway WRT.
First victory for Hirvonen
Mikko Hirvonen celebrated the first WRC-victory of his career in Australia. On the third day the Finnish Ford works driver once again kept Norwegian Petter Solberg (Subaru) safely on distance. For Ford teammate Marcus Grönholm a fifth place was the limit following his rollover. But the Finn would have needed to finish third at least in order to still stand a chance for the World Championship title. Therefore Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen WRC) is Rally World Champion for the third time in a row.
-credit: omv peugeot norway