Gronholm Not Complacent in Lead

Marcus Gronholm says he is still not holding a comfortable lead in the Rally Finland, despite stretching it out to more to 23.7 seconds by winning five of the six stages held so far in Leg Two

Gronholm Not Complacent in Lead

Gromholm now has to hold off Loeb for just six more stages - two today and four tomorrow - to take his first victory of the season. But the Finn says he will only start to feel comfortable with his advantage after this afternoon's Moksi-Leustu stage. At 40.96km, it is the longest of the rally.

"No, this isn't [a] comfortable [lead]," Gronholm told Autosport-Atlas. "We'll see how the long stage goes this afternoon. If the gap is like this after the long one, then we will be a bit more comfortable."

The Peugeot driver also admitted to easing off on this morning stages to protect co-driver Timo Rautiainen's back injury. Rautiainen sustained the injury after the Peugeot 307 WRC landed heavily after one of Finland's notorious jumps on SS5, the new 33-km stage of Vellipohja. He was unable to read pace notes out to Gronholm after the accident and had to use hand signals to guide him.

Physiotherapists passed Rautiainen fit later after giving him an anti-inflammatory injection and some strapping round his back.

"Timo is still hurting and it cost us a couple of seconds per stage. I was not attacking the jumps like I can," added Gronholm.

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Series WRC
Author David Evans
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