Marcus Closes Championship Points Gap Marcus Gronholm has finished sixth at the end of the inaugural Rally Mexico, closing his gap to the World Championship leader to just four points. Harri Rovanpera has ended up 10th on his debut in the...
Marcus Closes Championship Points Gap
Marcus Gronholm has finished sixth at the end of the inaugural Rally Mexico, closing his gap to the World Championship leader to just four points. Harri Rovanpera has ended up 10th on his debut in the 307 WRC, scoring a manufacturers point for Peugeot.
Conditions were once again dry and hot for the final leg of the Rally Mexico. Although both Marcus and Harri hit problems on the previous day, their Peugeots were fast and reliable over the closing five stages to ensure a solid points finish.
Marcus started the day with the firm intention of not taking risks in order to reach the finish. Nonetheless, he set two fastest stage times on SS14 and SS15 - proving once more that the all-new 307 WRC has the pace to run at the front.
Marcus said: "This has been far from an easy rally for me and we've had our share of problems. But I think everybody knows now which directions we have to work in, and the car has demonstrated that it is quick. Today was just a question of reaching the finish, and to be four points behind the championship leader with a new car at this stage of the season is not too bad. I'm looking forward to the next rally, in New Zealand, as we should have some new parts on the car that will make us even more competitive."
A broken steering uniball ended Harri's podium challenge yesterday, when he dropped 16 minutes. Yet the Finn did not give up, and a solid drive over today's stages has resulted in him scoring a manufacturers point for Peugeot.
Harri commented: "This was my first rally in the 307 WRC, and I was still getting used to it during the first day. As time went on I was able to find a rhythm and grow in confidence with the car. Unfortunately, a steering arm broke yesterday, which was not my fault, and we dropped a lot of time. But at least we were able to score a point and build up more experience of the car which will be very useful for the future."
Peugeot Sport team principal Corrado Provera said: "We have been pleased with the performance of our new car but disappointed with the lack of reliability, which did not allow our drivers to express themselves to the maximum of their abilities. I'm convinced that Marcus could have won the rally, while Harri was on course to score important points, which was exactly the job that we asked him to do. Now we have to work harder than we ever have done before in order to ensure a strong performance in every area in New Zealand. That is our challenge, and we are looking forward to it!"
The Rally New Zealand, round four of the World Championship, is based in Auckland and takes place from April 16-18.