Marcus A Fighting Second For Peugeot Peugeot driver Marcus Gronholm has finished Spain's Catalunya Rally in an excellent second overall after a completely trouble-free run over all three days of the asphalt event. The Catalunya Rally, the ...
Marcus A Fighting Second For Peugeot
Peugeot driver Marcus Gronholm has finished Spain's Catalunya Rally in an excellent second overall after a completely trouble-free run over all three days of the asphalt event.
The Catalunya Rally, the penultimate round of the World Championship, was characterised by fast and flowing asphalt roads with uncertain weather that made tyre choice extremely tricky.
Nonetheless, Marcus kept up a consistent rhythm to fight for the lead from the very first day, proving that the 307 WRC is turning into front-running car on asphalt. The two-time World Champion struggled slightly with tyre choice on the opening day, but after making some adjustments to the set-up of his car Marcus was able to set six fastest stage times over the course of the event. Today's conditions were once more unpredictable in the morning, and Marcus chose an intermediate tyre over the drying stages.
"It was certainly the safe choice," he said. "Maybe a cut slick would have been better, but it has been difficult to choose the right tyres throughout the event because of the changing weather. The car has felt good throughout the rally, although we still have a lot of work to do. But we are definitely heading in the right direction now, which is very encouraging. I'm also very pleased that we had no mechanical problems at all during the three days of the event. It's very positive sign for the future that gives me a lot of confidence."
Unfortunately, his team mate Freddy Loix was forced to retire on the opening leg with electrical problems.
Peugeot Sport team principal Corrado Provera commented: "This long-overdue podium place is a confirmation that the 307 WRC is starting to consistently fight at the front. We also had perfect reliability during the rally, which shows that all our hard work is starting to pay off. Well done to Marcus, and we now aim to build on this result for the final round of the championship in Australia and of course our preparations for next year."
The final round of the 2004 World Rally Championship, Rally Australia, takes place in a fortnight's time from November 12-14.