Australia : OMV Peugeot Norway - Super Special
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has already proven during the first two super stages (two kilometres each) of the Telstra Rally Australia that Manfred Stohl and Henning Solberg will be a force to be reckoned with in
the next three days.
The Austrian OMV duo defeated the World Champion car in both runs and lies in fourth overall place following the rally show in Gloucester Park on Thursday. In their immediate duel, Norwegians H. Solberg/Menkerud beat local hero Chris Atkinson in the works Subaru and are currently in seventh place.
Manfred Stohl has once again proven his prowess at super stages. The 34-year-old OMV driver offered show and mastery and outclassed Xavier Pons in the World Champion Citroen with number one in both runs. And it wasn't the first time that Stohl/Minor remained victorious in a direct duel with the works car.
In Mexico Stohl had already once defeated Sebastien Loeb
at a super stage. Stohl: “We wanted to have a go at it right from the beginning. It worked out and we can be justly satisfied. But the real rally will only start on Friday. Still, re-entering the race in fourth position boosts your self-confidence.” The OMV duo lies 2,5 seconds behind leader Marcus Grönholm in the overall ranking.
Have fun, be fast
Henning Solberg is among those drivers that feel right at home on super stages. He just loves the immediate infight with the opponent.
At the Rally Australia the Norwegian OMV driver got an extremely tough opponent: local hero Chris Atkinson of the Subaru works team. H. Solberg: “It is especially motivating when you compete against a crowd favourite. You have to offer an even better performance in order to get the fans on your side. It was very important for me to win this duel.
“After all, Atkinson finished fourth last year. Now we know at least partly where we stand – even though it was only a short super stage.” From tomorrow on the OMV Team will enter unchartered territory since it is the first start in Australia for the third-placed of the Rally Turkey.
120,83 kilometres on day one
On Friday, 120,84 kilometres in nine special stages are scheduled. The start will be at 7:15 (local time) in Perth. The finish will be at the very place at about 19:45 (local time). The last two special stages will once again be held as super stage in Gloucester Park.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway