Marcus Fights On in Corsica Marcus Gronholm is the lead Peugeot driver in fifth position at the end of leg two of the Rally de France-Tour de Corse. His team mate Freddy Loix ends the leg in a points-scoring eighth place. The second day of the...
Marcus Fights On in Corsica
Marcus Gronholm is the lead Peugeot driver in fifth position at the end of leg two of the Rally de France-Tour de Corse. His team mate Freddy Loix ends the leg in a points-scoring eighth place.
The second day of the Tour de Corse was once more characterised by four sinuous asphalt stages run under constantly-changing weather conditions. Today's shortest stage was a demanding 36 kilometres, making this the longest leg of the rally totalling 154 competitive kilometres. Overnight rain led to damp conditions on the first loop of stages, with intermittent showers turning tyre choice into a lottery right up to the end.
Marcus started the day fifth, and concentrated on not taking risks in the extremely demanding conditions. Nonetheless, he piled pressure onto the cars in front of him and the Finn is well-placed to take advantage of any mishaps for his rivals on the final day. His 307 WRC remained totally reliable throughout the day's action.
He said: "It's not been an easy day for me, and to some extent we have suffered from the same problems we experienced yesterday. I'm finding it hard to build up any confidence in the car, and the handling feels unpredictable. Despite this I can still push at a reasonable pace and hopefully I can force some other drivers into a making a mistake. Conditions are so tricky that it is very easy to go off."
Freddy's priority was to establish a better feeling with the car after taking time to get to grips with it yesterday. Some set-up changes improved the situation, but the Belgian was still not at ease throughout the day's challenging stages.
"The set-up we have now is a bit closer to that which we should have had at the start of the rally," he said. "But I am still finding it difficult to get the car turned into corners. This morning I was also consuming the tyres a lot, which is unusual for my smooth driving style."
Cedric Robert was forced into retirement from a strong sixth place on the first stage this morning after going off on some standing water.
"About two kilometres into the stage, there was a right hand corner with some water on the inside," said the Frenchman. "Unfortunately I underestimated the extent of it and we slid into a wall, damaging the radiator and putting us out of the rally. I was going at a good pace, but I don't often make mistakes like this and I think we could have had a good result."
Tomorrow's final leg of the Rally de France-Tour de Corse takes in four more stages comprising 112 competitive kilometres. The first car leaves Parc Ferme at 0720 and the winner is expected on the finish ramp in Ajaccio at 1430.