OMV Kronos Citroen WRT wins two WRC-points in Sardinia * Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor finish in seventh overall place * Positive development of the Citroen Xsara WRC clearly discernible * Marcus Gronholm celebrates second WRC-victory this ...
OMV Kronos Citroen WRT wins two WRC-points in Sardinia
* Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor finish in seventh overall place
* Positive development of the Citroen Xsara WRC clearly discernible
* Marcus Gronholm celebrates second WRC-victory this season
The OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team has finished the "Rally d'Italia Sardegna" in seventh overall place. Thus Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor not only won two points for the driver WRC but also three points in the FIA World Rally Championship for manufacturers. In any case, the seventh WRC run this season was a step in the right direction even though a lot of work still awaits the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team.
A step forward
Even though Manfred Stohl couldn't catch up with Toni Gardemeister (Fin/Mistubishi WRC) on Sunday he still moved up to seventh overall place thanks to Sebastien Loeb's retirement. The same result as last year in Sardinia. And even though an absolute top result was not yet possible, 2006's WRC-fourth-placed is nevertheless confident: "We definitely made a step forward. You can't complain when you score WRC-points. We had a comparatively problem-free rally. That is comforting and makes me more confident in my car. We drove very fast especially during the last two days. Unfortunately Gardemeister did the same and we couldn't catch up. An infight with an immediate opponent is nevertheless much more fun." Additionally, the OMV duo Stohl/Minor took three points for the manufacture ranking.
Success will come back
"It is very motivating to see that all the work pays off. Manfred is getting confident with the car once again and I think that we are on our way to create a good package. It was clear to us that this year wouldn't be an easy one. But if we all work together the success we hope for will come back", explains Marc Van Dalen, Team Principal of the OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team.
Turbulent final leg
Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroen C4 WRC) looked like the sure winner until the end of day two. But on the first special stage of the final leg last year's victor slipped off the road after a jump and landed in a ditch he couldn't get out of. Marcus Gronholm (Fin/Ford Focus WRC) took this opportunity to celebrate his second victory this season. The Finnish former World Champion won 29,2 seconds ahead of his countryman and teammate Mikko Hirvonen. Dani Sordo (Spa/Citroen C4 WRC) came in third, having had a close fight with Henning Solberg (Nor/Ford Focus WRC) until the last kilometre and finally finishing with a lead of 14,8 seconds. Due to Loeb's retirement Gronholm retakes the WRC-lead with 55 points. Second-placed Loeb has 48 points to his account.
-credit: omv kronos