Argentina : OMV Peugeot Norway - Preview
Manfred Stohl will be celebrating an anniversary. The 33-year-old OMV driver will be competing in his 100th World Championship race in the upcoming round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Argentina.
This is more than
just a number for Manfred Stohl, who has carried the colours of OMV in all races since the beginning of his WRC career in 1991. The gathered experience has paid off in many successes. The OMV driver also regards this as a basis for the future, therefore also for the upcoming WRC round in Argentina. It is the exact spot where the OMV Team Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor want to reach the podium in the overall standings for the fourth time in their career.
Third currently competing WRC driver in Club 100
Even though Manfred Stohl is very modest about his WRC anniversary it still remains something special. Only two currently competing rally drivers are also members of Club 100: the Finns Marcus Grönholm (125 starts) and Harri Rovanperä (108 starts) – though the latter will not compete in Argentina.
To the OMV driver, though, a good performance counts more: “I think that 100 WRC starts are not proof of a good performance in themselves. Though they show a certain kind of continuity which was and is also possible thanks to my sponsor OMV. I am proud to have had them as my partner since my first WRC assignment. If one takes a different look at it then I may be celebrating my 100th WRC rally but only the 26th in a World Rally Car. So, in comparison, I'm almost a rookie and the future looks bright ahead.”
OMV Chief Executive Ruttenstorfer congratulates Stohl
There are a lot of congratulators even before the Rally Argentina. Dr. Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, Chief Executive of OMV, also congratulated and presented Manfred Stohl with a tap spigot which normally is used for the product “OMV Super 100”.
Ruttenstorfer: “It is a year of anniversaries for us since OMV also celebrates its 50th year. We are very proud to not only be part of Manfred Stohl's 100th WRC assignment but to also have been partners through the preceding 99 races and happy to have been able to play our part in the great achievements of Austria's currently most successful motor sports athlete.”
Manfred Stohl competed in his first WRC rally in 1991 on the Ivory Coast – in an Audi 90 Quattro, as chase car for his father Rudi. The OMV driver celebrated his 50th assignment in 2000 with a third place in the Production Car World Rally Championship at the Rally of Finland. It was also that year that Manfred Stohl took the World Championship title in the series class. During 99 WRC rallies so far Stohl drove cars for the following manufacturers: Mitsubishi (56x), Audi (11x), Citroen and Peugeot (10x each), Fiat (6x), Hyundai and Ford (2x each), Subaru and Toyota (1x each). Stohl celebrated his WRC debut in 2002 in Monte Carlo in a Toyota Corolla WRC, reaching 16th overall place. He already scored for the first time at his eighth WRC assignment (7th place, Wales Rally GB) and reached the podium for the first time in a WRC at his 14th start (2nd place, Rally Cyprus). The one to take the “hot seat” the most often was Peter Müller – 47 WRC rallies, all in all. From 2001 on Ilka Minor became the regular co-driver of the OMV Team. She will be reading out the pace notes for the 39th time at a WRC event in Argentina.
OMV back in M2-ranking in Argentina
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has the chance to score in the manufacture ranking at the WRC run in Argentina. Following two solo-performances by Manfred Stohl, Henning Solberg will be back again in South America. The OMV Peugeot WRT currently lies in fourth place (21 points) in the manufacturer standings. But the two drivers have high expectations for Argentina. Stohl: “I'm convinced that the Peugeot 307 WRC, prepared by Bozian Racing, will be a rocket on gravel. Argentina is among my favourite events and I'll give my all to reach the podium. This would be the perfect present for my anniversary.”
Henning Solberg is no less self-confident: “We've had a longer break since Mexico but we are highly motivated and convinced to be able to score points in Argentina. The only disadvantage is that I've never before competed in this rally. But the conditions should be to my liking. And since fifth place in Mexico we know that we can keep up with the best.”
351 special stage kilometres on 22 special stages
The Rally Argentina will commence on Thursday (April 27) with two super-special-stages in the football stadium of Cordoba at 19.05 (local time). Twenty further special stages with a length of 351,44 kilometres are scheduled from Friday to Sunday (April 28 - 30). The overall length measures exactly 1.474,82 kilometres. The finishing line will be crossed on Sunday (April 30) at about 13.20 (local time) after the final super stage.
This is Argentina
Area: 2.766.890 sq km; Population: 38.740.000 inhabitants; Population density: 14 people per sq km; Capital: Buenos Aires (12 mi. inhabitants); Argentina has become independent from Spain in 1816. The average temperatures in April measure between 11 and 25 degrees Celsius. Humidity amounts to 75% with an average of six rainy days.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway