Peugeot Boosted For a Sprint Finish To The Season Fourth in the Manufacturers' championship with eight rounds to go, Peugeot Sport is determined to turn on the heat to give the 307 WRC every chance of climbing onto the top step of the podium.
Peugeot Boosted For a Sprint Finish To The Season
Fourth in the Manufacturers' championship with eight rounds to go, Peugeot Sport is determined to turn on the heat to give the 307 WRC every chance of climbing onto the top step of the podium. For Marcus Grönholm, Harri Rovanperä and Sebastien Lindholm, Rally Finland will be a first class opportunity to achieve that goal, while a fortnight later, the French team will have a further chance on the asphalt of the Deutschland Rally. Marcus Grönholm and Cédric Robert have been nominated as eligible to score points on this event, while Freddy Loix will also be looking for a top result in Germany at the wheel of his works 307 WRC.
Halfway into the 2004 season, Peugeot figures in fourth position in the Manufacturers' championship, 47 points behind the leader, while Marcus Grönholm is currently fifth in the Drivers' standings, 29 points adrift. Following the 307 WRC's strong debut, the French squad has tended to tread water over the past four rounds. Marcus Grönholm has scored points on just one occasion during this period when he finished second in Turkey, while the total of ten points pocketed by Harri Rovanperä over the same four events have not compensated for the two-times World Champion's lack of success. The cancellation of Peugeot's results in Cyprus also weighs heavily of course in the overall balance.
Will the second half of the calendar which is about to begin produce a more lucrative harvest for Peugeot? One thing at least is certain: the team has put in a great deal of work these past few weeks and the 307 is very competitive, as illustrated by Grönholm's first place in the recent Rally Argentina prior to the incident that put an end to his bid for victory.
First up of the 2004 calendar's final eight rounds is Rally Finland, an event which holds a special place in Peugeot's rallying history. The French make has won this event on eight previous occasions, including three with the 206. To notch up the 307's maiden success in Finland would effectively be a great way to kick off the second part of the season--
Three-times winner of the 'Great Race of Jyväskylä' (2000, 2001 and 2002), Marcus Grönholm stands out as one of the big favourites. "It would be great to score the 307 WRC's first win, for the whole team, and also for me. I really feel we have been unlucky in the past few rallies."
Harri Rovanperä is also fired up to give his very best on home soil. "I can't wait for Rally Finland to begin. When you compete in your home event, there is a certain pressure but also a special atmosphere. The testing we did recently was very encouraging for the remainder of the season. Our car has progressed significantly during the past few weeks."