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Gronholm takes second win of 2003 in NZ.


Marcus Gronholm took his second consecutive win on the Propecia Rally New Zealand today.

The reigning world champion took a comfortable lead into the final day of the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship and was untroubled through Sunday's six stages south of Auckland.

Gronholm's second win of the year [he also won in Sweden] moves him into second position in the driver's standings. Gronholm's team-mate Richard Burns took second place, ensuring that he remains in the lead of the race for this year's title.

Peugeot's double success has moved the French marque to the top of the standings in the manufacturer's race, five points ahead of Citroen. All four rounds of the championship this season have now been won by the PSA Group.

Subaru's Petter Solberg was third after a relatively undramatic day in his Impreza. After non-finishes in Monte Carlo and Turkey, the Norwegian was happy to have added to his points tally for the season.

The Peugeot 206 WRCs of Gronholm and Burns have run reliably today. Harri Rovanpera retired when he slid off the road on the second leg.

Gronholm made undramatic progress through the final leg. With more than one minute in hand over his nearest rival - team-mate Burns - there was no reason for the Finn to take any risks. His only problem came when a spectator threw a rock at the windscreen of his car on the final stage of the day.

The brake problems which Burns suffered on leg two were cured for today's six stages and after setting third quickest time on the first stage of the day, the Briton went fastest on all of the remaining stages.

''I am happy with this win, the car is in the same specification as it was last year, which shows how good it is,'' noted Gronholm. ''Today was okay, no panic, I had a good feeling about everything today. There is no secret to me winning this rally, I had a good push through the first two legs and that was enough.''

''The brake problems which we had yesterday did not re-occur today, the car has run well,'' continued Burns. ''Looking back to before this rally, things could have been a lot worse for us if it hadn't been wet on the first day. It's nice to still be at the front of the driver's championship.''



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Peugeot`s Marcus Gronholm and co-driver Timo Rautiainen celebrate victory on the Rally NZ [2003]
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Petter Solberg celebrates at the 2007 Race of Champions
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Bjorn Waldegard [Pic credit: Race Retro / www.historicmotorsportshow.com]
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Jacques Villeneuve testing his Albatec Racing Peugeot [Pic credit: Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic]
Jacques Villeneuve in his Albatec Racing Peugeot [Pic credit: Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic]

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