The 307 WRC Hungry For Podium Success as The Championship Returns To Asphalt After the rough gravel of the recent Rally Italia Sardinia, the Peugeot 307WRC continues its Mediterranean tour with Rounds 14 and 15 of the 2004 championship that take...
The 307 WRC Hungry For Podium Success as The Championship Returns To Asphalt
After the rough gravel of the recent Rally Italia Sardinia, the Peugeot 307WRC continues its Mediterranean tour with Rounds 14 and 15 of the 2004 championship that take competitors first to Corsica and then on to Catalonia. Peugeot's crews will be out to add to the make's winning record on both events.
Corsica has a lot in common with Sardinia which recently hosted the thirteenth round of the sixteen-round 2004 World Rally Championship. But although these two islands are close in geographical terms, the rallies they organise are very different. Indeed, while Rally Italia Sardinia featured rough gravel stages, the French round is run on asphalt, making it much faster and smoother in comparison with the twisty, loose stages of its southern neighbour. Peugeot has carved out a long and successful record on the Tour of Corsica. It was here that the 205 Turbo 16 was given its maiden outing 1980s. The 206 WRC also made its world debut on the island in 1999, immediately revealing its potential which was confirmed the following year when Gilles Panizzi and Francois Delecour finished 1st and 2nd, with Marcus Gronholm following in 5th. In 2002, the car secured one of the finest results of its career when it monopolised the top-three with Gilles Panizzi, Marcus Gronholm and Richard Burns!
This time round, after making its debut in this year's Monte Carlo Rally, it will be the turn of the Peugeot 307WRC to fight for top honours on the Mediterranean island in the hands of Marcus Gronholm, Cedric Robert (both of whom have been nominated as eligible to score Manufacturers' points in Corsica) and Freddy Loix. Marcus Gronholm is something of a fan of the Tour of Corsica: "It is certainly one of my favourite asphalt rallies. The stages are narrow and twisty and more suited to my upbringing as a rally driver than is the case in Spain which requires more of a racing driving approach. I have a good feeling in Corsica, although I hope it doesn't rain. When it does, tyre choice becomes very difficult and can be a bit of a gamble," says the Finn.
As was the case in Germany last August, Cedric Robert and Freddy Loix will be present to lend a helping hand to the two-times World Champion. Freddy Loix will again be given the chance to attack as he sees fit while Cedric Robert goes to Corsica in a slightly different frame of mind. "I am absolutely delighted that Peugeot has given me the chance to drive the 307 WRC again at the sport's highest level. I believe I can do even better than in Germany which was my first event at the wheel of a factory Peugeot WRC. So much was new and I admit I put myself under quite a lot of pressure, especially after Marcus retired on the first stage. In Corsica, I will benefit from the advantage of knowing not only the team better, but also the car and the stages. The 307WRC has progressed too since Germany, so my aim will be to finish on the podium, and why not on the highest step. The 307WRC has won on the loose already and has everything it takes to win on asphalt."