First top position for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT For the first time since the beginning of their WRC rally commitment five years ago the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team leads in a World Championship run. Responsible for this feat are Belgian ...
First top position for OMV Kronos Citroen WRT
For the first time since the beginning of their WRC rally commitment five years ago the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team leads in a World Championship run. Responsible for this feat are Belgian Francois Duval and his French co-driver Patrick Pivato. The OMV driver wrestled the lead from Germany-serial-winner Sebastien Loeb during the last kilometres of the first day. Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor were less fortunate. Things didn't go as hoped for already at the first special stage - and didn't turn for the better during the remainder of the day.
Francois Duval sends shivers down the backs of the works teams at the "ADAC Rallye Germany". The Belgian OMV driver gave a faultless performance on the first leg and leads by 1,3 seconds ahead of Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC) after six of 19 special stages. Duval only reached the top position during the last kilometres of day one. This also means that the 26- year- old presented the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team with the first lead in the intermediate standings since the beginning of their WRC commitment in 2002. Duval: "I rode full attack and gave 100 percent. I was truly at the limit. It is a surely great feeling to have the lead prior to day two at your comeback. In the afternoon I also definitely chose the right tyres. I hope that it will stay dry on Saturday. Then I'll surely offer Sebastien a tough fight."
Not into tune
Manfred Stohl regards his tenth intermediate place after day one as the combination of several minor factors. After the first special stage the OMV driver was already aware that things didn't go the way he had planned. Stohl: "Then I tried to fully attack on SS 2 and hit an iron rod about two kilometres into the stage. I was lucky not to tear off a tyre. From then on things were tough and I lost time by the kilometre. It just wasn't my day. But tomorrow I'll try my luck once more and go to the limit once again. It will be a very long leg where positions could easily be turned upside down."
164,86 SS-kilometres on Saturday
The second leg will lead over 164,86 SS-kilometres and eight special stages. The heart of the leg will be the "Arena Panzerplatte" with a length of 30,55 kilometres which will be completed twice. The restart will take place at 7:00 in Trier where the finish of the leg is also at 19:00.