WRC

Rally Ireland: OMV Kronos stage one summary

OMV Kronos Citroen WRT is impressed The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has taken up the Rally Ireland with a detour to Northern Ireland. Just like all other rally teams Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor completed the "Stormont Super Special" ...

OMV Kronos Citroen WRT is impressed

The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has taken up the Rally Ireland with a detour to Northern Ireland. Just like all other rally teams Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor completed the "Stormont Super Special" in front of the parliament in Belfast. Considering a starter field of 33 World Rally Cars ninth place meant an excellent result for the Austrian OMV duo, leaving them only 2,5 seconds behind the best-time of Marcus Grönholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC).

Unforgettable ambience

The start of the Rally Ireland heftily boosted the image of the FIA World Rally Championship. The stylishly staged opening in front of the parliament was only surpassed by the attractive super stage. The rally aces fought man to man and proved their mastery on the 1,82 kilometres long circuit, thereby enthusing approximately 12.000 spectators.

"The vibes were sensational, you don't feel that too often. That is the way super stages make sense. And we can really be satisfied with our performance since we hardly lost any time on the tarmac specialists", said the pleased OMV driver Manfred Stohl. The 35-year-old Austrian marked ninth- pest time in 1:33,9 minutes, only 2,5 seconds behind Marcus Grönholm who outdistanced Sebastien Loeb (F/Citroen Xsara WRC) by almost one second in the immediate duel.

Kris Meeke (Subaru Impreza WRC) came in third. The Northern Irishman achieved his top result in the first duel (only one thenth second behind Loeb). For a while it even looked as if the local hero could cause a small sensation.

Stohl superiorly won his duel with Matthew Wilson (GB/Ford Focus WRC). The OMV driver stayed over eleven seconds ahead of the young Brit who had won the Rally Ireland in 2005. But back then it hadn't yet been a run to the FIA World Rally Championship. It is only this year that the so far successful premiere is taking place.

-credit: owrt.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Marcus Gronholm , Sébastien Loeb , Manfred Stohl , Kris Meeke , Ilka Minor , Matthew Wilson
Teams Citroën World Rally Team