THE TWO 307 WRCS CHASE THE LEAD... The Corona Rally Mexico got underway in a typically Mexican fashion on Thursday night in the ancient town of Guanajuato, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Thousands of enthusiastic fans lined the narrow streets of...
THE TWO 307 WRCS CHASE THE LEAD...
The Corona Rally Mexico got underway in a typically Mexican fashion on Thursday night in the ancient town of Guanajuato, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Thousands of enthusiastic fans lined the narrow streets of the old mining town to witness the best that the World Rally Championship had to offer.
The first day's route, which got underway on Friday morning, consisted of two repeated loops of three stages, making up a total competitive distance of nearly 150 kilometres. The Peugeot 307 WRC drivers set three fastest stage times out of a possible six, in hot and tough conditions. Marcus Gronholm ended the leg in second place 10.4 seconds ahead of his team mate Markko Martin in third.
Like many drivers, Marcus suffered from overheating rear brakes on the demanding stages. The Peugeot Sport team changed the entire brake assembly on both cars, and tried to improve brake cooling by adjusting the air intakes.
Marcus Gronholm: "I was slowed down by a few brake problems which we did not completely solve after the first service. But I've got every confidence that my team will get on top of the problem by tomorrow. The stages are very slippery and the surface is surprisingly hard - almost like an asphalt rally in some places. But I like the roads a lot and we are still in a good position to challenge for a top result."
Markko Martin: "I started second on the road, so I was probably handicapped by sweeping up loose gravel for everybody behind me on the first two stages. The third stage was astonishingly clean, and I was able to set fastest time. I'm not really able to explain my unsatisfactory times on stages one and four - which is exactly the same problem I had last year!"
Jean-Pierre Nicolas: "We are completely fulfilling the objectives we set ourselves before the start of the rally - scoring the maximum possible points. Like many of the other drivers Marcus dropped time with brake problems, particularly on stages two and five which are characterised by a steep descent. But there's still a very long way to go on this rally - we have only got through 42% of the total distance!"