MARCUS AND MARKKO INCREASE THEIR GRIP ON THE PODIUM Peugeot 307 WRC drivers Marcus Gronholm and Markko Martin have consolidated their positions at the sharp end of the leaderboard during the second leg of Rally Finland. Marcus Gronholm keeps ...
MARCUS AND MARKKO INCREASE THEIR GRIP ON THE PODIUM
Peugeot 307 WRC drivers Marcus Gronholm and Markko Martin have consolidated their positions at the sharp end of the leaderboard during the second leg of Rally Finland. Marcus Gronholm keeps his first place, extending his advantage over Sebastien Loeb from 5.8 seconds this morning to more than a minute by the end of the day. Markko Martin maintains his third position, having pulled out a margin of 39.8 seconds over Petter Solberg.
Leg two of the rally, characterised by fine weather, saw crews tackle eight special stages totalling 145 competitive kilometres around the town of Jamsa, 50 kilometres south east of rally headquarters in Jyvaskyla. One of the highlights was the famous Ouninpohja test, split into two parts this year in order for the average speed not to exceed the FIA-recommended limit of 130kph. It was an excellent day for the Peugeot drivers, with Marcus setting six fastest stage times out of a possible eight, while Markko set two second-fastest times and three third-fastest times.
Marcus Gronholm: "It's been a very good day, although I could not have expected to have a lead of a minute by the end of today! Actually that does not change things so much as we have been fast all day and I think we know that the speed is there. Our tyre choice this morning was perfect for Ouninpohja, and we had no problems at all. However there are still four stages run together tomorrow without service so we have to stay concentrated. Anything can still happen."
Markko Martin: "It's been another good run through the stages today: this is definitely the best rally of my year so far. I've got confidence in the handling of the car now and of course the engine is very good, which has allowed us to set some fast times. We've moved ahead of the battle we were in with Toni Gardemeister and Petter Solberg so tomorrow our plan is to drive for a podium finish."
Jean-Pierre Nicolas: "This second leg was a carbon copy of the first, with a big fight for the lead. Marcus was able to steadily increase his lead, while Markko felt increasingly confident with his 307WRC and was also able to make up time. Our Pirelli tyres were to the drivers liking throughout the day."