OMV Kronos Citroen WRT safely within scoring ranks The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has successfully weathered one of the most difficult days of this year's FIA World Rally Championship. After ten of 20 special stages the OMV pair ...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT safely within scoring ranks
The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has successfully weathered one of the most difficult days of this year's FIA World Rally Championship. After ten of 20 special stages the OMV pair Stohl/Minor lies in excellent seventh overall place and thus safely within scoring ranks. At the top it seems as if a preliminary decision in the World Championship has taken place. Following the retirement of Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC) title holder Sebastien Loeb (F/Citroen C4 WRC) once more holds all the aces.
Green isle - green streets
On the first day the Rally Ireland already developed into a battle against nature. The intermittent rain made the tarmac extremely slippery. Additionally, grass grows through the tarmac in the middle of the roads. If the tyres get onto this "green central reserve" the driver becomes a passenger. Thus Manfred Stohl acted accordingly cautiously. The OMV driver tried to minimise the risk as good as possible. Success proved him right. After the first day the 35-year-old Viennese lies in excellent seventh place, 28,3 seconds behind Guy Wilks (GB/Subaru Impreza WRC). Stohl: "I seldom was that happy to have survived the first day. I had expected Ireland to be leprechaunish but this surpasses everything. We are currently in seventh place but do stand good chances to move up to sixth place. Still, this rally is highly dangerous. If it should rain harder tomorrow everything could be turned upside down."
Gronholm out - advantage Loeb
Following the retirement of Marcus Gronholm who had crashed into a wall on SS 4 the Citroen works team was pair skating. Sebastien Loeb took the opportunity and currently leads 11,2 seconds ahead of his Spanish teammate Dani Sordo. Third-placed Finn Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford Focus WRC) is already 1:28,4 minutes behind. Regarding the WRC-ranking this would mean that Loeb would lead by six points over Gronholm prior to the finale in Wales where he'd only need a fifth place to secure his fourth title win.