OMV BIXXOL Teams gather snow-experience

OMV BIXXOL Teams gather snow-experienceFrom Mitsubishi Press [ 09/02/2007 ].
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The OMV BIXXOL Rally Team with Andrej Jereb and Miran Kacin was more handicapped by a cold than by the road conditions on the first day of the “Uddeholm Swedish Rally”. After eight of 20 special stages the Slovenian OMV duo lies in 20th place in group N. Czech OMV BIXXOL driver Martin Prokop was even less fortunate. After the gearbox of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX already had to be exchenged during the first service the end came after SS 5 due to a broken central differential.

OMV BIXXOL Rally Team starts after visit to a doctor
Before Andrej Jereb was able to take up the special stages the Slovenian OMV driver had to visit a doctor first. Handicapped by a cold he needed medicinal support prior to his fourth start in the FIA World Rally Championship. And the resident medic of the Production Car World Rally Championship knows the doping regulations, for Jereb didn’t want to take any risk. Adding the fact that it is his first time on snow to these problems there is reason to be content with 20th intermediate place. Jereb: “This was surely the hardest rally day in my career. Until now I didn’t know how to drive on snow. It is a learning process under the sign of trial and error. But I hope that we will already tomorrow be able to achieve better times.“

Bad luck for Prokop
Martin Prokop of the OMV BIXXOL Rally Team CZ already had a moment of shock during the noon service. The gearbox had to be exchanged. Thus he was only able to leave the service with a nine-minute delay which brought on a time penalty of 1:30 minutes. Following the fifth special stage the end finally came. The Mitsubishi Evo IX broke down due to a broken central differential. Prokop: “I only hope that it really is the differential. For if it should once again be the gearbox we wouldn’t be able to compete within SupeRally on Saturday since we have already exchanged the gearbox once.“

Intermediate standings after eight of 20 special stages (following leg one), group N
01. Jukka Ketomäki/Kai Risberg (Fin) Subaru Impreza 1:09:28,4 hrs.
02. Kristian Sohlberg/Risto Pietiläinen (Fin) Subaru Impreza (1. P-WRC) +18,3 sec.
03. Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (Fin) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX (2. P-WRC) +24,0 sec.
04. Anton Alen/Timo Alanne (Fin) Subaru Impreza (3. P-WRC) +44,5 sec.
20. Andrej Jereb/Miran Kacin (Slo) Mitsubishi/OMV BIXXOL Rally Team +7:07,1 min.
28. Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (CZ) Mitsubishi/OMV BIXXOL Rally Team CZ (14. P-WRC) +18:51,4 min.