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Gronholm in control in Finland.


Day two of Rally Finland, the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship was full of drama for pacesetter Peugeot, but the French manufacturer still ended it one-two after six special stages today.

Finnish driver, and winner of this event for the past two years, Marcus Gronholm, has a comfortable lead of more than a minute and a half from second placed Richard Burns.

The Englishman lost his lead after landing heavily from a jump on the famous Ouninpohja test. He lost boost pressure for the rest of the stage, dropping more than a minute.

The third Peugeot of Harri Rovanpera fared even worse. He punctured at the beginning of the event's longest stage, and the resulting damage to his suspension and bodywork forced the bitterly disappointed Finn out.

Subaru's Petter Solberg lost places to Ford duo Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae on the day's opening stage. He recovered fifth place from Sainz on the penultimate test, but spun on the last stage, handing the position back.

Estonian Markko Martin fought hard, to end the day sixth, whilst Finnish favourite Tommi Makinen continued to struggle.

The event ends tomorrow, after another six stages.

The Peugeot 206 WRC of Rovanpera retired from the lead on a road section after SS13, after he suffered a puncture early into the longest stage of the day. Having completed some 30km on the wheel rim, his car's suspension and bodywork were too badly damaged to continue.

Burns damaged his 206 WRC when he landed heavily from a jump on SS12, the famous Ouninpohja test. Damage to the front of the car was superficial, but he was forced to complete SS12 with no turbo boost after the impact.

Gronholm's car has been reliable. He had several punctures, but in every case he was able to continue without losing too much time. After SS12 he decided to disconnect Peugeot's hydraulic anti-roll bars, reckoning he may have a better feel for the car without them.

Burns set fastest time on the day's first stage, but then lost a minute and half after his heavy landing on SS12. He was also penalised a further 20s after leaving service two minutes late before the start of SS13. He dropped to third place, but regained second when Rovanpera retired.



Related Pictures

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Marcus Gronholm / Timo Rautiainen - Peugeot 206 WRC
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