OMV Kronos Citroen WRT lies in wait o Stohl/Minor in eighth place after eight special stages o Cautious beginning for Carlsson/Giraudet who lie in eleventh place o Surprising lead by Hirvonen ahead of GrÃ¶nholm and Loeb Following...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT lies in wait
o Stohl/Minor in eighth place after eight special stages
o Cautious beginning for Carlsson/Giraudet who lie in eleventh place
o Surprising lead by Hirvonen ahead of Grönholm and Loeb
Following the first leg of the "Rally Norway", the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team lies in eighth and eleventh place. Unexpectedly high temperatures of about zero degrees Celsius meant extremely difficult conditions for the competitors. Thanks to their experience, Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor were able to keep their chances for scoring points intact. OMV Teammate Daniel Carlsson is still in search of the right rhythm and plans to ride an attack on Saturday.
Stohl still has reserves
Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor are within schedule following the first day of the Rally Norway. The tactics of the OMV driver - to avoid taking too much risk - paid off. The intended scoring rank has already been reached by eighth place. Now it is imperative to look ahead and step on it. Stohl: "Realistically speaking, the Scandinavians, including Loeb, of course, will be hard to beat here. Conditions were extremely diffult today, as well. You're constantly slipping and sliding. It feels like driving on soft soap. But I am convinced that we still have reserves. Henning Solberg, Galli and Gardemeister as well are within reach. Thanks to the high temperatures the short spikes aren't that much of a disadvantage, too."
Objective: full attack
The Rally Norway was anything but satisfying for Daniel Carlsson so far. Last week's overall fifth at the Sweden Rally is still in search of the right rhythm. He currently lies in eleventh overall place. Carlsson: "The car is all right. It is just the set-up in my head that doesn't work perfectly yet. We will do our all to improve on Saturday. Now there is only one objective: full attack ", explains the 30-year-old Swede. In order to score points in the manufacture World Championship the OMV driver has to overtake at least one works driver. After day one this would be Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin/Ford Focus WRC), who lies only 7,9 seconds ahead of Carlsson.
Double lead by Ford
The Ford-Werksteam finished the first day of the third run to the FIA World Rally Championship with a double lead. Yet it is not Marcus Grönholm in the top position but his Finnish countryman and teammate Mikko Hirvonen. The 26- year-old, last year's WRC-third, was the one to best cope with the difficult conditions and currently leads by 15,5 seconds over Grönholm. But Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC) reached five out of eight SS-best-times after he had been rather cautious on SS 1 and 3. At the moment he is only 1,8 seconds behind Grönholm. Norway's local heroes, brothers Petter (Subaru Impreza WRC) and Henning (Ford Focus WRC) Solberg lie in fourth and seventh place.
-credit: omv kronos