14 October 2006
Gronholm out front by a 'mile' in Turkey.
Kronos Citroen's Xavier Pons and Colin McRae are sixth and seventh, and while the former was pleased with his form, McRae has been disappointed with his pace. The Scot struggled again with the wrong tyres on the first loop and didn't fare that much better in the second loop either. Although his pace improved in the final two 'proper' tests, he is still some way off his goal of finishing on the podium.
First Motorsport's Francois Duval is on course to take the final drivers' point in eighth, the Belgian, like at the end of day one, easily outpacing his fellow Fabia WRC car users, Andreas Aigner and Harri Rovanpera, who languish in 11th and 12th, over a minute adrift in their Red Bull-backed Skoda's.
Daniel Sordo meanwhile rounds out the top ten in the number two Kronos-run Citroen Xsara WRC car, the Spaniard currently set to scoop the final manufacturers' point. Although he hasn't had a particularly great event, he has been consistent and ended the day on a high by topping the times on the long 29.28 kilometre Phaselis test - the final 'proper' test.
Of the other works' drivers, Matthew Wilson is 13th, the Brit having struggled to adapt to the highly changeable conditions. He opted to go to Katajamaki's settings halfway through the day and was then somewhat happier with his Ford Focus. Wilson's co-driver, Michael Orr continues to struggle though, having injured his back on day one.
In the Junior WRC category, Per-Gunnar Andersson is on course to take the class win and like Gronholm, has a very comfortable lead, over 2 minutes up on his Suzuki team-mates, Urmo Aava and Jozef Beres.
Overnight leader, Guy Wilks was dogged by punctures this morning on the first loop and as a result his overnight lead was cut right back. Worse was too come though and he rolled in SS13. That incident cost him lots of time and he is now fifth, 2.5 minutes behind Conrad Rautenbach in fourth and about a minute up on Kris Meeke, who completes the top six.
The action now concludes on Sunday. Featuring three more timed tests and just 50 competitive kilometres, Sunday's leg is the shortest of the rally but ends with one of its longest stages – the marathon 28km 'Olympos'. The winning car is expected to cross the finish podium in Kemer at 1306hrs local time.
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