Acropolis : OMV Peugeot Norway - Leg 2
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team was able to defend their top positions on the second day of the Acropolis Rally.
This in spite of several minor problems of Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor (Aut) which culminated in a small fire
in the Peugeot 307 WRC during the last leg. They nevertheless moved up to fifth overall place. Henning Solberg and Cato Menkerud also firmly put their foot down and finished the second leg in sixth place.
Full attack on the final leg
Manfred Stohl had imagined the second day of the Acropolis Rally, the eight round of the FIA World Rally Championship, to be slightly differently. Even though the 33-year-old OMV driver always reached top nine times he still had to fight minor problems throughout the day.
The temperature control for the intake air failed which caused the engine to overheat. This in turn caused the engine management system to switch to an emergency program which decreased engine power. Stohl: “It already happened during the morning but unfortunately we were not able to solve the problem during the service. Which meant that we had to deal with it during the afternoon, as well. It is really ill luck since we are on schedule tactically and also had luck with the tyres.“
The problems culminated during the last special stage when a small fire broke out below the centre console of the Peugeot. “I don't know how it started. For a moment I wondered whether I should stop but then I went on and we extinguished the fire after the finish of the stage. The smoke emission was quite heavy, though.
But whatever happens, we will ride a full attack on Sunday in order to overtake Sordo,” promises Stohl. The Spaniard is only 2,9 seconds in front of the OMV Team.
Fast fun on gravel for Solberg
OMV Peugeot Norway Teammate Henning Solberg has a lot of fun at the Acropolis Rally. A fact that is also mirrored by the result. The Norwegian achieved second-best time on the last stage (only 2,6 seconds behind Grönholm). This means sixth place in the overall standings – only missing three seconds on Stohl.
This despite of having been given a penalty of 20 seconds because he arrived late at special stage 10. Reason: the OMV driver had troubles with the rear brakes and had to switch them off. Solberg: “Excluding this minor problem it was a lot of fun. We didn't take full risk on the long special stage. There are so many rocks on the road that a tyre damage is almost unavoidable. But we'll also ride a full attack on Sunday.“
On Sunday five special stages with a length of 100,14 kilometres are scheduled. For the final super stage (SS 18) the rally will return to the Olympic Stadium in Athens. The restart will be at 06:40 in Athens. The first car will cross the finish ramp at about 14:20.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway