WRC

Rally Finland: OMV Peugeot final summary

OMV Peugeot Norway WRT wins nine manufacture points The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team finished the "Neste Oil Rally Finland" with both cars among the top-10. The only registered works team of the FIA World Rally Championship to match this...

OMV Peugeot Norway WRT wins nine manufacture points

The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team finished the "Neste Oil Rally Finland" with both cars among the top-10. The only registered works team of the FIA World Rally Championship to match this feat was Ford. Thus Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud in fourth overall place and Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor in ninth place won nine points for the manufacture WRC. A result that Bozian-Racing can be proud of.

Henning equals best WRC result

Fourth place in Finland means that Henning Solberg and Cato Menkerud have equalled their previously best WRC result (Cyprus 2005). During the three days the Norwegian OMV duo constantly gave a great performance on the highest level. Solberg: "Finally the luck we had been missing during the first half of the season was on our side. I have nothing to reproach myself for. The three works teams in front of us can't be beaten under such conditions. Now we've moved up in the WRC again. And the next two rallies I will participate in, Cyprus and Turkey, are to my liking. I reckon that I'll achieve a good result there. But right now I'm just happy about this success." Statistics are equally impressive: in 13 out of 21 special stages the OMV driver in the Expert Peugeot 307 WRC reached a top-5-time.

Two hearts in Stohl's breast

"If somebody had told me prior to the rally that I would reach a top-10-place, I would have been overjoyed. But now I'm a little bit sad about ninth place. More would have been possible. But the damage on the first day (broken transverse control arm) had me thrown too far back. Fortunately we were able to gather valuable manufacture points which somewhat makes up for one or more lost driver points ", explains Manfred Stohl. On the second and third day of the Rally Finland the Austrian OMV driver restricted himself to keeping the car on the road. Stohl: "There is no use taking unnecessary risks when there is no longer any opponent. Once we had overtaken Wilson the matter was settled. Therefore one has to see my special stage times in this light. It was basically nothing more than a fast recce for next year." Manfred Stohl will be departing to Japan next weekend, where the Rally Japan, eleventh run to the FIA World Championship, will take place in ten days. There the OMV driver plans to be among the top 8 once again in order to score driver WRC-points. Currently the 34-year-old Austrian lies in fifth place with 24 points.

Great manufacturer points average

Bozian-Racing also was quite content -- after all, they take no less than nine points home from Finland. Only the Ford works team (16 points) was more successful. Jackie Bozian, Team Manager of the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team: "It was a fabulous rally by Henning. And Manfred did an exceptionally professional job when he kept fighting in even a hopless position and brought in valuable points for the team. Since we can't score in the manufacture ranking at all rallies one should take a look at the points average. With 7,4 points per rally we are even in front of Subaru (6,5 points/rally)." In Japan the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team will only be represented by Manfred Stohl. Therefore the team can't score in the manufacture ranking. But from Cyprus onward two cars (Stohl and Hening Solberg) will be employed right to the finale in Wales.

No jump like a Grönholm jump

On Sunday, Marcus Grönholm (Ford) was crowned King of Finland -- or rather, he did it himself. The local hero won his home rally for the sixth time. Only Markku Alen (also Finland) and Didier Auriol (Corsica) had previously managed to win a WRC-run six times. Still, even this record won't heighten Grönholm's chances to win the WRC-title 2006. WRC-leader Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) finished a secure second and currently leads by 31 points with six runs to go in the World Championship. The Finns also proved their superiority at home with third place by Mikko Hirvonen.

-credit: omv

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Didier Auriol , Marcus Gronholm , Sébastien Loeb , Manfred Stohl , Mikko Hirvonen , Markku Alen , Henning Solberg , Cato Menkerud , Ilka Minor
Teams Citroën World Rally Team