OMV Kronos Citroen WRT in sixth place after first leg o Best-time for Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor on longest special stage o Sebastien Loeb takes lead following Petter Solberg's retirement The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team was the...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT in sixth place after first leg
o Best-time for Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor on longest special stage
o Sebastien Loeb takes lead following Petter Solberg's retirement
The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team was the big surprise in the afternoon of day one of the "Corona Rally Mexico". Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor reached best-time in the Citroen Xsara WRC on special stage 5 - their first this year. Thereby the OMV duo was able to overtake Ford works driver Marcus Grönholm (Fin) at first. But a slip on the super stage unfortunatley cost several seconds. At the end of the first leg the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team lies in sixth place.
The right set-up
Manfred Stohl was overjoyed at the final service of day one. The overall best-time on special stage five by the 34-year-old OMV driver had everyone sit up and take notice. On the second-longest stage of the whole rally (Ortega, 29,66 kilometres) he outdistanced last year's winner Sebastien Loeb by one tenth of a second. In the overall ranking the Austrian was able to overtake Marcus Grönholm. But a mishap on the super stage had him drop back behind the Vice-World Champion again. Nevertheless: the podium is only 21,6 seconds away. Stohl: "We changed the set-up at the first service and were spot-on with that. I am overjoyed by that best-time. Unfortunately during the first turn of the super stage we overlooked that the course had been sprayed on. It was like pure ice and we slipped which cost us several seconds. This was the only downer of the day." During the super stage there was a problem with the time measurement, however. "We don't know how the times came about. We will investigate this", explains OMV Kronos Citroen Team Principal Marc van Dalen.
Loeb takes the lead
Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC) had put the pressure on Petter Solberg already on the fourth and fifth special stage of day one. After five SSs they were only 2,1 seconds apart. Then an oil leak forced Solberg to retire between SS 5 and 6. Therefore Loeb currently leads by 26,3 seconds over Chris Atkinson (Aus/Subaru Impreza WRC). But Mikko Hirvonen lies only 3,8 seconds behind the Australian in third place. Following 145,62 SS- kilometres the first six teams are 51,7 seconds apart.
-credit: omv kronos