Peugeot Proves a Point Peugeot drivers Cedric Robert and Freddy Loix have finished the Rallye Deutschland in fifth and sixth places respectively, after an exciting battle throughout the final day. Today's conditions in Germany were typical...
Peugeot Proves a Point
Peugeot drivers Cedric Robert and Freddy Loix have finished the Rallye Deutschland in fifth and sixth places respectively, after an exciting battle throughout the final day.
Today's conditions in Germany were typical of the rally as a whole: intermittent rain and slippery asphalt that made tyre choice extremely difficult. The final leg contained some new stages on fast and flowing roads to the south of rally headquarters in Trier. Crews completed seven stages in total, comprising nearly 100 competitive kilometres.
Although Cedric was making his debut in the 307 WRC, he proved himself capable of setting times comparable with the frontrunners. He gradually built up his speed and confidence in the car, setting two fastest stage times and scoring valuable manufacturers' points for Peugeot.
"It's been a fantastic experience" said Cedric. "To be in a top car competing against the world's best drivers is always a privilege. I started the rally with a degree of caution, because I wanted to be sure of seeing the finish. But I think we chose the right compromise between speed and safety, and I'm delighted to get this result."
Freddy set fastest time on the opening stage this morning, underlining his speed and determination at the wheel of the 307 WRC. He encountered a few problems on the opening leg of the rally, but fought back to set some competitive times and move up the leaderboard. His Peugeot was entirely reliable today, although he broke a wheel rim on the final loop of stages and dropped a bit of time.
The Belgian said: "It's been a good event for us, despite a couple of problems on the opening day. But after then things got a lot better and I was able to make up a lot of places. This rally was not easy for me, as the conditions were constantly unpredictable. However, I really enjoyed it and I think we did our best under the circumstances. I'm looking forward to my next rally in the 307 WRC now!"
Two-time World Champion Marcus Gronholm was unfortunately forced to retire on the first corner of the opening stage, after going off on some standing water. He completed the rest of the event in order to consolidate his asphalt experience, under the trial of the new Super Rally system.
Peugeot Sport team principal Corrado Provera commented: "Cedric and Freddy have done an excellent job for us, and confirmed the efficiency of the 307 WRC and its new five-speed gearbox. However, the early retirement of Marcus was a deep disappointment."
The World Rally Championship moves to the other side of the globe for the next round, the inaugural Rally of Japan from September 3-5. The fast gravel event will be a new experience for everybody, making it almost impossible to predict a winner.