Gronholm: Citroen still ahead

The Citroen Xsara/Michelin tyre combination is still out of reach on the Monte Carlo asphalt roads, that is the view of Peugeot drivers Marcus Gronholm and Markko Martin, after the first leg of the Monte Carlo Rally

Gronholm: Citroen still ahead

Peugeot has switched to Pirelli tyres for 2005, but the French manufacturer still has some development ground to cover with the latest generation of Italian asphalt rubber before the 307WRC is on a par with the Xsara, reckons Gronholm who ended the day third overall.

"If you look at what Petter [Solberg] did last year with the Subaru on Pirellis," explained Gronholm, "we are in about the same position as last year. I am happy to be third and it would be a fantastic result to finish here but there is a long way to go and this is Monte Carlo."

Martin, sixth fastest overall and still getting used to his new ride, concurred with his team-mate. "The tyres aren't quite right yet," he said. "We knew that, so we are where we thought we'd be."

Martin though is happy with the progress he has made learning the 307, having only had three tests with the car before the season began.

"I haven't made so many changes today," he said. "I feel more confident in the car than I did this morning, but there are still things I don't understand. What's very important is that the car is running without problems."

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