OMV Peugeot Norway WRT on podium at Rally of Turkey *Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud reach first podium place of their career* *Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor eke out one point for driver WRC* *Victory keeps Marcus Gronholm?s WRC-title chances ...
OMV Peugeot Norway WRT on podium at Rally of Turkey
*Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud reach first podium place of their career*
*Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor eke out one point for driver WRC*
*Victory keeps Marcus Gronholm?s WRC-title chances alive*
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has reason to celebrate at the "Rally of Turkey". Following Manfred Stohl in Mexico, OMV Teammate Henning Solberg also reached the podium on Sunday. This also means the first top 3 place in the FIA World Rally Championship for the 33-year-old Norwegian. A competitive performance on the final day won Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor one WRC-point in the driver ranking. In the manufacture ranking the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team took no less than eight points.
Tears of joy after a moment of shock
Henning Solberg did literally everything he could to keep that third place he held after the second leg. But that anything could happen on these three special stages which were completed on Sunday was proven by the moment of shock the Norwegian OMV driver encountered. Barely two kilometres short of the finish of the next-to-last special stage the fuel pipe suddenly had a leak and the brakes malfunctioned. "All I thought was: please, not now. Not again. I am so close to my greatest triumph. This just can't happen. I've already had enough of my share of bad luck this year ", Solberg thinks back on these frightful minutes. But on the way to the last SS the OMV driver was able to repair the damage in a makeshift fashion and exchanged the brake circuits. Thus the way to triumph was free. Solberg: "When we reached the finish of the SS Cato suddenly started to cry. I couldn't help myself and joined in. It is such a wonderful day for us. I'd like to thank my family, Bozian Racing and my sponsors who have made such happiness possible for me." Henning Solberg currently stands at 25 points in the World Championship, two points ahead of his brother Petter of the Subaru works team who had won the WRC-title in 2003.
One point won
Manfred Stohl went through all highs and lows at the Rally of Turkey. In the end he did eke out one WRC-point. It would have almost been two but on the last special stage the OMV driver had to let Dani Sordo (Citroen Xsara WRC) pass. Stohl: "We tried everything and on Sunday we were really fast. I didn't lose seventh place just on the last special stage. In any case it is one point won and we can leave Turkey with our heads held high. I nevertheless expect top results for the next rallies once again." One reason to worry for the 34-year-old Austrian is the fact that he is far from the top under rainy conditions. Stohl: "That gives us reason for thought. Especially where the Wales Rally GB is concerned. But prior to that we hope to get our self-confidence up in Australia and New Zealand." Stohl still lies in fifth place in the WRC ranking by currently 34 points.
Once again second-best manufacture team
Eight points won mean that the OMV Peugeot Norway Team is, just like in Cyprus, second-best manufacture team behind Ford. They were able to make up four points on Subaru in the intermediate ranking and currently lie only 16 points behind the works team. This despite the fact that the OMV Peugeot Norway WRT competes in only twelve of 16 runs in the manufacture ranking as opposed to the British team. "I am very happy. Henning really deserved this success. The signs were already there during the last rallies. Manfred's perfomrance was somewhat jinxed. But I am sure that he will be back in top form in Australia already. Both drivers have an important share in establishing us in the manufacture ranking", said the happy Bozian-Racing- Boss, Jackie Bozian, Team Manager of the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team.
Grönholm keeps WRC-chance alive
Following the absence of Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Xsara WRC) due to injury, Marcus Grönholm (Ford Focus WRC) made the best to keep his WRC title chances alive. The victory of the Finnish former double World Champion in Turkey was never challenged. The more so following the retirement of chief competitor Petter Solberg on SS 15 of day two. Therefore he made up ten points on Loeb in the WRC ranking. But Grönholm still needs two victories and one third place at the remaining three events. That is, if Loeb doesn't compete anymore this year. Second place in Turkey went to Ford teammate and countryman Mikko Hirvonen. A very strong performance was given by Red Bull Skoda-Junior Andreas Aigner, who finished in tenth overall place and secured one point for the manufacture ranking.
-credit: ovm peugeot norway