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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
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team

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