Better day for RB Skoda

Better day for RB SkodaFrom Skoda Press [ 20/05/2006 ].
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Red Bull Skoda driver Andreas Aigner started the second day of Rally Sardinia as first car on the road, just like he did in Corsica. This meant both an advantage and a disadvantage for the young man from Styria in his first true WRC event on gravel.

“The road surface was very loose and slippery. Being the first car to start the stages there were obviously no tracks to follow. That made them not too pleasant to drive, after all I didn’t want to make the same mistake as in Corsica. On a positive note I felt very confident at the wheel of the Fabia WRC the whole day long, and I was able to move up one position. Also I was delighted by the droves of Austrian fans with their flags, they motivated me a lot.“

Finnish driver Harri Rovanpera, who had to start the second day in 19th after retiring yesterday due to a broken differential, was able to improve substantially today, moving up into 14th position: “On SS 9 I posted my first top ten stage time of this rally. The car was much easier to drive today after various changes to the setup. To improve the balance of the car even further we also changed the entire rear axle suspension of the Fabia WRC at today’s midday service. For tomorrow I hope to further improve my times and to reduce the gap to the competition.”

Team leader Armin Schwarz about today’s result: “I’m happy that Andreas has made no mistakes as the first car on the road, that’s not too easy and proves his talent in his very first gravel rally. We changed quite a lot on Harri’s car compared to yesterday and hope that he can continue to improve on the final day tomorrow.”

Another tough break for Finland’s Marcus Gronholm: Leading comfortably, he hit a rock on SS 8, damaging the oil sump of his Ford. Gronholm had to retire, he will not be able to restart tomorrow.

So it was Sebastien Loeb who captured the lead once again, the Frenchman about to win his fifth WRC event in a row save for mechanical issues. In tenth place Austria’s Manfred Stohl (Peugeot) is trying to put the first two days in Sardinia behind him and achieve the best result possible tomorrow.