Both OMV Xsaras in top 10

Both OMV Xsaras in top 10From General Article [ 16/07/2005 ].
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The OMV World Rally Team (Citroen Xsara WRC) has passed the longest leg of the 25th Rally Argentina (162,34 km) with flying colours. Manfred Stohl, who had encountered two tyre damages and a spin in the morning achieved one sixth and one ninth overall time in the afternoon. Which meant eighth place in the overall ranking after ten of 22 special stages. OMV Team-mate Xevi Pons improved with each SS and secured a place among the top-10 on special stage nine.

Close to seventh place

In the run-up to the Rally Argentina Manfred Stohl had already pointed out the importance of the first day – where, with a length of 162,34 special stage kilometres, almost 50 percent of the rally would have already been completed. „It was extremely important to keep up with the best here. Too bad not everything went according to plan. I’m a little too much behind. I don’t understand why I’m losing comparatively much time on the short, easy special stages. The ranking itself is rather okay, though“, explains the 33-year-old OMV driver. He is only missing 5,5 seconds on Citroen-works driver Francois Duval (Bel/7th place).

Improvement by the kilometre

Xevi Pons is coming more and more to terms with the Citroen Xsara WRC. The Spaniard of the OMV World Rally Team is becoming faster with each special stage and found himself among the top-10 for the first time after SS 9. A rank he is still keeping after the end of leg one. Pons: „I’m feeling very much at home. The car and my performance complement each other perfectly. As far as the first day is concerned I’m quite content.“

Both OMV drivers within scoring range

Kronos Racing-Team Manager Marc van Dalen was also very happy at the service. „Both drivers among the top-10 plus number one and two of the private teams. I’m sure that we can do even better and will have both drivers within scoring range on Sunday.“

The second leg commences on Saturday at 7:02 (local time). On the schedule are seven special stages with 144,35 special stage kilometres overall. The first car is expected at the leg finish in Carlos Paz at about 17:43 Uhr (local time).