Australia : OMV Peugeot Norway - Leg 1
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team has completed the first day of the Telstra Rally Australia. While Manfred Stohl can be content, Henning Solberg's first Australia adventure ended with a take-off at high speed on special stage
six. A restart within SupeRally will not be possible since the Peugeot 307 WRC is too heavily damaged.
The retirement rate of the World Rally Cars is very high. Five of ten teams already had to give up on the first day. And top favourite Marcus Grönholm lost over ten minutes following a rollover on special stage one.
Stohl plays out experience
Manfred Stohl has weathered out the first day of the Telstra Rally Australia. After eleven of 26 special stages the OMV driver is only 8,2 seconds behind a place on the podium. It still was the possibly hardest rally day this year for Stohl: “Since it hasn't rained recently it is extremely fast and insanely slippery. I surely was beside the road more often today than during the last five rallies altogether. If I take a look at the course of events I get convinced that I chose the right tempo. And there is still a lot going to happen at this rally.
On the last special stage of the day, the super stage in Perth, the 34-year-old OMV driver reached overall SS-best-time – his sixth this year.
Henning Solberg had a different vision of his premiere in Australia. The Norwegian OMV driver experienced a spectacular take-off on the sixth special stage and chopped down no less than ten trees. Fortunately, driver and co-driver remained uninjured and Solberg recounts: “We got off the ideal line during a very fast left turn which you drive at full speed. At such a moment you don't stand a chance on this loose gravel. We took off right into the woods. I don't even remember whether I turned over.” In any case, the Peugeot 307 WRC was too heavily damaged. Therefore a restart within SupeRally on Saturday won't be possible.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway