WRC

Rally New Zealand: OMV Peugeot Norway final summary

Third place for OMV Peugeot Norway WRT in New Zealand The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team can celebrate another great triumph. Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor reached the podium at the "Propecia Rally New Zealand", just like they had three...

Third place for OMV Peugeot Norway WRT in New Zealand

The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team can celebrate another great triumph. Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor reached the podium at the "Propecia Rally New Zealand", just like they had three weeks ago in Australia. The OMV duo held the attacking Citroen works team at bay during the final day. After 17 special stages the Austrians were 16,8 seconds in front of Xavier Pons (Spa) in the World-Championship-car of Sebastien Loeb and more than 40 seconds ahead of rally shooting star Dani Sordo (Spa). During the last kilometres Henning Solberg was able to secure one manufacture WRC point for the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team.

A very special experience

Manfred Stohl has already been counted among the best rally drivers in the world prior to this weekend. But his third place at the Rally New Zealand has once more proven the prowess of the 34-year-old OMV driver. Following more than 350 special stage kilomtres under the toughest conditions he left the works drivers of Citroen and Subaru in his wake. It was the fifth podium place in the career of OMV duo Stohl/Minor, the third already this year. Stohl: "It is a very special experience. The more so since we beat very tough opponents and were able to confirm the success in Australia. The fight versus Pons and Sordo was a real challenge. Furthermore, the Rally New Zealand is one of my most favourite events. But we also had a lot of luck and, in the end, Jesus wanted us to make it." In the driver FIA World Rally Championship the OMV driver has now secured fifth place for good. 46 won points mean that he lies twelve points ahead of former World Champion Petter Solberg (Nor/Subaru). And fourth place is still within reach since he is only one point behind Dani Sordo. Stohl: "We will do our all to overtake Sordo in Wales. We like the rally and are under no pressure whatsoever."

One point secured for manufacturer WRC

Following his rollover on the second day, the aftereffects of which had cost over 16 minutes, Henning Solberg secured one point for the manufacture WRC by a spirited performance on the final day. The Norwegian OMV driver kept Brit Matthew Wilson (Ford Focus WRC) at bay despite brake problems. Solberg: "We had a lot of bad luck and the slip cost us a top result. But it is no use crying over lost driver points. Now we will thoroughly prepare for Wales and make good these points at the season's finale." The 33-year- old Scandinavian still lies in seventh place in the driver World Championship with 25 points to his account.

Bozian Racing best M2-Team

Bozian Racing, the team employed by the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team, was rejoicing. Already prior to the last run to the FIA World Rally Championship in Wales (December 1-3) the team can't be replaced as best M2- Team. Four podium places alone - three of these in a row - by Manfred Stohl (Mexico, Australia, New Zealand) and Henning Solberg (Turkey) confirmed their supremacy among the privateers. "We are overjoyed. It was a fantastic season so far. Manfred and Henning have even exceeded our expectations. It is impressive how they have proven what the Peugeot 307 WRC is capable of ", said a very happy Jackie Bozian, OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team Manager.

Gröholm corrects Australia-misadventure

Markus Grönholm has corrected his misadventure from three weeks ago. In Australia the Finnish Ford works driver had overturned and thus lost his chance for the title. In New Zealand he was once again in a league of his own. Following 2000, 2002 and 2003, Grönholm took his fourth victory in Kiwi Country. The second place by teammate Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) also meant that Ford has already won the manufacture WRC title prematurely. It is only the second one since 1979 in the history of the World Rally Championship.

-credit: omv peugeot norway

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Petter Solberg , Sébastien Loeb , Manfred Stohl , Mikko Hirvonen , Henning Solberg , Ilka Minor , Matthew Wilson
Teams Citroën World Rally Team