OMV Kronos Citroen WRT conquers sixth overall place The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has reached sixth overall place at the "Rally Japan". Up to the last kilometre the OMV pair Stohl/Minor tried to catch up with Ford drivers Wilson and ...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT conquers sixth overall place
The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has reached sixth overall place at the "Rally Japan". Up to the last kilometre the OMV pair Stohl/Minor tried to catch up with Ford drivers Wilson and Perez Companc. But in the end the 40-seconds-penalty from Saturday made this a close but impossible mission. Manfred Stohl was nevertheless satisfied, especially since he got a motivation boost for the remaining two rallies in Ireland and Wales.
Sixth place is an excellent result
On Saturday Manfred Stohl had only just made it into the service with a broken clutch. The four-minutes-delay resulted in a 40-seconds-penalty for the 35-year-old OMV driver. A time that was missing today in the fight for fourth place - 26,4 seconds, to be exact. At the beginning of the day it had almost been one minute. But Matthew Wilson (GB/Ford) and Luis Perez Companc (RA/Ford) were able to ward off all efforts by the Austrian to move up further. Stohl: "Japan is a Ford course in the end. One already could see this last year when Perez Companc and Wilson reached partly very good results. We gave our all on the last special stages. And, counting the actual SS-times, we're ahead. It was just the 40-seconds-penalty that cost us a better place. But after such a season one is happy about each WRC- point. And this rally additionally was extremely tough given the adverse road conditions. In any case, we're leaving Japan with a very good feeling."
Latish motivation boost
To Manfred Stohl the Rally Japan also brought on a reconciliation with the Citroen Xsara WRC. For the first time he felt comfortable throughout a whole rally. Stohl: "It was definitely a step in the right direction. Unfortunately it's happening rather latish but we'll still try to take advantage of it and score points in Ireland and Wales as well. I always knew: if the car is all right we can compete for places four to six." Regained motivation on board the next stop will be the OMV Rally Waldviertel (Austrian Championship finale) at the beginning of November where the OMV driver will steer a CNG Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX (gas- driven).
Hirvonen celebrates second WRC-victory
Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) had no problem bringing home the victory on the third day of the Rally Japan. The Ford works driver controlled the field and finished 37,4 seconds ahead of Daniel Sordo (E/Citroen C4 WRC) after 27 special stages. Henning Solberg (Nor/Ford Focus WRC) came in third. It was already the second podium place this year for the former OMV driver following his home rally in Norway. Since both WRC-leader Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC) as well as his pursuer Sebastien Loeb (F/Citroen C4 WRC) didn't score points the title-decision was postponed. Currently Gronholm lies four points ahead of the titleholder.