Turkey : Finish - Summary
The BP-Ford World Rally Team crew of Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen kept their Championship hopes alive today with a commanding win in the Rally of Turkey, the 13th round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The Finnish duo led from start to
finish claiming victory over team-mate Mikko Hirvonen by two minutes and 23.4 seconds.
Third position was taken by Norway's Henning Solberg, his first WRC podium position.
In the battle for the Drivers' Championship, Grönholm has slashed the deficit to Sebastien Loeb
, claiming maximum points in the absence of the injured Frenchman. It marks his fifth win of the season and puts him to within 25 points of the reigning World Champion with an available 30 points remaining.
Hirvonen's second position sees him overhaul Daniel Sordo to take third in the series. In the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, it was a dream result for Ford and they now move ahead of the Kronos Total Citroën World Rally Team who scored just three points.
Marcus Grönholm drove the perfect rally, the Finnish Ford Focus driver leading from the outset. After two days battling with Subaru's Petter Solberg, Grönholm was then handed a massive advantage when the Norwegian was forced to retire from yesterday's leg when he went off the road.
With just three stages remaining today, and team-mate Mikko Hirvonen in second position, the Finn could ease the pace and head an impressive Ford one-two at the finish in Kemer this afternoon.
For Henning Solberg (Peugeot 307 WRC), third overall marks the best result of his WRC career and moves him ahead of younger brother Petter in the Championship standings. Finland's Kosti Katajamaki (Ford Focus) was fourth going into the last stage but then lost power due to high oil and gearbox temperatures. He dropped to fifth behind Xavier Pons.
Chris Atkinson dropped from fourth to sixth after a spin in the penultimate stage but was the lead Subaru at the finish. Britain's Colin McRae - replacing the injured Loeb - was on course for seventh, but stopped in the final stage with alternator problems.
The 14th round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the crews to Perth for Rally Australia (27-29 October).