Day 2 am: Gronholm takes over in front

Marcus Gronholm has taken over the lead of Rallye Deutschland on the second morning of the event as comeback man Markko Martin set the pace on three of the four stages

Day 2 am: Gronholm takes over in front

Gronholm all-but wiped out Richard Burns' overnight lead when he won the the first stage of the day, overhauled the Englishman on the next and then eased away over the balance of the morning.

The big star of the morning though was Martin. After a cautious start on SS8, Bosenberg 1, the Estonian simply flew. He'd started the day in 10th place, 1m27.6sec behind leader Burns. At the end of the morning he was fifth and only 47.7sec behind new leader Gronholm. Burns is just 19.5sec ahead in third place.

Martin did get a big slice of luck on the final stage of the morning, completing his run before a heavy shower made conditions much harder for the drivers ahead of him in the overall standings, who were all running after him on the road.

That Panzerplatte West stage (SS11) was where he took most time off his rivals, but you'd be unwise put his success on that stage down to luck alone. There have been four stages in the rally so far held, like this one, on the tank proving grounds and Martin has won them all.

The man in the driving seat of the rally though is undoubtedly Gronholm and he holds a narrow 9.6sec lead over 2002 winner Sebastien Loeb of Citroen. Burns is 28.2sec down in third place - the bulk of that time lost on the wet SS11.

With the weather still very uncertain each of the top three retains a very real chance of endng the day on top and you shouldn't automatically rule out Colin McRae and Martin in fourth and fifth places either. As McRae put it: "You really just need a bit of luck."

Those out of luck this morning included Skoda's Toni Gardemeister, who lost 10 minutes after breaking suspension in a heavy landing; Petter Solberg who lost a minute in his Subaru after a similar but less serious problem; Gilles Panizzi who struggled with brake problems on his Peugeot and slid down the order from fifth to eighth; Hyundai's Armin Schwarz - gearbox trouble and his team-mate Freddy Loix's co-driver Sven Smeets who had to endure eight km of the Panzerplatte stage secured - or not - with a broken safety harness. Philippe Bugalski had it even worse, retiring with a turbo problem.

shares
comments
Day 1 update: Burns leads overnight
Previous article

Day 1 update: Burns leads overnight

Next article

Day 2: Loeb in charge

Day 2: Loeb in charge
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Plus

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Autosport was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Plus

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Autosport went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022