Tough times for Peugeot in Sardinia

Tough times for Peugeot in SardiniaFrom Peugeot Press [ 03/10/2004 ].
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Marcus Gronholm has finished the inaugural Rally d'Italia-Sardinia in 7th place, after an unlucky event for the Peugeot team. Under difficult circumstances, the Finn's tireless efforts have earned Peugeot 4 manufacturers' points. Conditions were dry and hot throughout all three days of the gravel Rally d'Italia-Sardinia, which replaced the asphalt of Sanremo this year. Marcus was in a position to challenge for victory until SS9 on the second day, when a turbo failure cost him more than 20 minutes and any chance of winning. He dropped to 19th place, but fought back to win 2 more stages and score manufacturers' points for Peugeot.

"It's been a tough, frustrating and disappointing rally," he said. "It took me a little while to find my rhythm, but eventually I was able to discover a good feeling with the car. I think we have proved once more that the 307WRC has the pace to win on gravel, and now I am looking forward to proving its pace on asphalt, on the next two rallies in Corsica and Spain."

Harri was forced to retire from a strong sixth place on the second day, following a transmission failure.

Peugeot Sport boss Corrado Provera commented: "Once more we head home without a podium, despite the best efforts of Marcus and Harri. It's clear that we have seriously handicapped ourselves and that there is yet more work to do. But we will never give up…"

The next round of the World Championship is the all-asphalt Rallye de France-Tour de Corse, where Peugeot have an enviable winning record.