Gronholm set for first win since Argentina 2003?

Peugeot number one Marcus Gronholm continues to lead the Neste Rally Finland, despite losing fourth gear in his 307 WRC this [Saturday] afternoon.

His 35.1 second advantage may well look healthy going into the final day of competition, however the Finn will be all too aware that another 95 kilometres of competition can still throw up surprises and his first win since Argentina 2003 is far from secured.

"Today has not been an easy day, but I'm delighted to be leading," said the Finn. "We started off with a feeling that was quite all right, but still not completely perfect. Then we had the gearbox problem that was a real worry, but we actually lost less time than I thought we would.

"The last stages were fine, but I could not relax for a minute. We have to keep pushing hard until the very end."

Markko Martin, second, has been pushing hard all day; however last year's Rally Finland winner is not convinced he can overhaul Gronholm without some outside assistance!

"There is a big gap between Marcus and myself and we'll need outside help if we are to win because there's no way I can catch him unless he hits trouble," noted Martin. "I have to ensure I don't make any mistakes now and there is no point in attacking too much tomorrow. We need to regain more than 30 seconds and the most we could probably achieve is a handful."

Carlos Sainz meanwhile has moved up into third position and team-mate Sebastien Loeb has rocketed up the leaderboard into fourth from an overnight seventh. Both Citroen drivers were more upbeat today...

"We found the settings, which enabled us to be on the right pace," explained Loeb. "Barring incidents, the positions will not change."

Janne Tuohino has seemingly just not had the pace today though and has slipped to fifth, while Jani Paasonen rounds off the top six in the lead Skoda.

"It wasn't a bad day but it wasn't a good one either," said Tuohino. "The only problem was with the driver and I didn't really set any good times. I didn't find the right braking line and I don't know why. I made a few small mistakes and it just didn't go as well as yesterday."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marcus Gronholm / Timo Rautiainen - Peugeot 307 WRC
Markko Martin / Michael Park - Ford Focus RS WRC04
Carlos Sainz / Marc Marti - Citroen Xsara WRC
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Karl Kruuda (EST) - Martin Jarveoja (EST) Ford Fiesta R5, Drive Dmack Trophy Team
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
Quentin Gilbert  (FRA) - Renaud Jamoul (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Mikko Markkula (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5, Team Oreca
Nicolás Fuchs (PER) - Fernando Mussano (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.