OMV Kronos Citroen WRT drops out after rollover At the "Neste Oil Rally Finland" the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team put up a great fight and gave an excellent performance but yet had to accept a small backlash. OMV duo Stohl/Minor drifted...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT drops out after rollover
At the "Neste Oil Rally Finland" the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team put up a great fight and gave an excellent performance but yet had to accept a small backlash. OMV duo Stohl/Minor drifted off the road following a crest a few kilometres into special stage 13 and overturned. Driver and co-driver remained completely unharmed but the Citroen Xsara WRC will take some more time to get back into shape. Therefore a restart within SupeRally on Sunday seems improbable.
Overturned three times
Manfred Stohl took full risk on the second day of the Rally Finland. Since he was close to Henning Solberg (Nor/Ford Focus WRC) and Dani Sordo (Spa/Citroen C4 WRC) in front of him, the 35-year-old OMV driver wanted to put pressure on them right from the beginning. But following seventh overall time on SS 12 the end came on the next special stage. Stohl: "About two or three kilometres after the start we came over a crest at very high speed. Unfortunately we then got too far to the left and two tyres got caught in the ditch. From then on everything went very fast and we overturned - but I coludn't say how often." Blessing in disguise: the scene of the accident was not situated in the woods but the Citroen Xsara WRC overturned into an open field. The video of a spectator shows that Stohl/Minor, who remained completely unharmed, overturned at least three times.
A positive development nevertheless
Shortly after the accident OMV driver Manfred Stohl nevertheless drew a very positive balance of the Rally Finland. Stohl: "One is disappointed after a drop-out, of course. Especially since I would have loved to tackle the 33 kilometres long special stage Ouninpohja. But I think we have proven that we are competitive. The car is good to handle and and the engine power is okay, too, once again. That makes us confident." It was the first retirement by accident for the OMV duo since their rollover in Greece over a year ago. The mechanics of the OMV Kronos Citroen WRT are currently on their way to the scene of the accident. But a restart on Sunday within SupeRally already seems improbable. "No one is happy about a damaged car. But I am nevertheless glad that Manfred is now satisfied with the Xasra WRC. And I am convinced that we will cause some surprise at the next rallies, especially on tarmac", explains Marc Van Dalen, Team Principal of the OMV Kronos Citroen WRT.
Things continue to go as hoped for for six-times Finland winner Marcus Gronholm (Ford Focus WRC) at his home rally. During the first three special stages of leg two the WRC-leader was able to more than double his lead and currently lies 11,1 seconds ahead of countryman and teammate Mikko Hirvonen. Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC) is already 29,8 seconds behind. The tree-times World Champion now ponders changing his car's set-up in order to push the envelope and attack the leading duo.