Australia : OMV Peugeot Norway - Preview
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team departs for Australia with a luggage full of self-confidence. Mainly responsible for this is Henning Solberg's third place in Turkey where the Norwegian OMV driver reached the podium for the
first time in his career.
Manfred Stohl is also confident for the last WRC event Down Under. He hopes to repeat last year's third place. A top result would also be an anniversary present to Bozian Racing. The French tuning wizards celebrate the 100th and 101st assignment in the World Rally Championship at the Telstra Rally Australia.
Solberg in top form
Henning Solberg had already knocked on the podium in Finland. In Turkey, the 33-year-old OMV driver's dream finally came true. Third place meant the best result of his career. He also overtook his younger brother Petter, World Champion in 2003, in the World Championship. Yet, the Norwegian is wary of too high expectations.
Solberg: At the moment I'm in top form and have the perfect feeling for my Peugeot 307 WRC. But we are in Australia for the first time. Therefore we somewhat lack experience. But I am nevertheless sure that we can be fast on unknown roads, too, thanks to our self-confidence. We can reach the top 5 anytime.
Stohl prefers it dry
Manfred Stohl has every reason to be content with this season even three rallies ahead of the finish.
The Austrian OMV driver was able to score at nine out of 13 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship so far. And he wants to keep up this series in Australia. Stohl: We have learned in Japan and Turkey that we do have problems under wet conditions. But it should be dry in Australia which is in our favour. Additionally, this rally suits me and is one of my absolute favourite events.
But last year's third placed still sounds a warning when looking at the starter field: One mustn't be deceived even if only ten World Rally Cars compete. Eight of these do stand a chance to reach the top three. It is going to be a fight for each and every second.
Many manufacturers' points for the anniversary
Bozian-Racing, the tuning wizards of the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team will celebrate an impressive anniversary, for a private team, in Australia. Following the first outing in 1969 they can now celebrate the 100th and 101st assignment in the FIA World Rally Championship this weekend.
Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor and Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud plan to congratulate with a lot of manufacturers' points. We have already proven this year that we, as a private team, can indeed compete with one or other of the works teams. Now we are seriously challenging Subaru, says a belligerent Jackie Bozian, Team Manager of the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team. Which means that they have to make up 16 points in the last three rallies.
348 special stage kilometres on 26 special stages
The Telstra Rally Australia will commence on Thursday (October 26) in Perth at 19.12 (local time) with two super stages (SS 1 und SS 2). 24 further special stages with an overall distance of 348,51 kilometres are scheduled from Friday to Sunday (October 27 29). The overall distance is exactly 1.334,41 kilometres. The superstage will also be completed twice on both Friday and Saturday. The finish line will be crossed on Sunday at 14.30 (local time) in Perth.
This is Australia
Area: 7.686.850 sq km; Population: 19.732.000 inhabitants; Population density: 2,56 people per sq km; Capital: Canberra (310.000 inhabitants); The federated Commonwealth of Australia has been independent since the 1.1.1901 and is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. In October temperatures average 20 degrees with up to 12 rainy days per month.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway