Gronholm retires from Corsica

Marcus Gronholm has been retired from the Rallye de France after his Peugeot team decided it was not worth repairing the gearbox failure that stopped him at the end of the day

Gronholm retires from Corsica

The former world champion had been fourth overall in the classification at the end of leg one, but his car hit trouble on the road section after SS4 and he never made it to the end of day service area.

With his retirement effectively ending Peugeot's bid to win the manufacturers' championship, the French car manufacturer have decided it would be better to re-prepare the car for next weekend's Rallye de Catalunya - where teams have to use the same chassis and engine.

Peugeot's team principal Jean-Pierre Nicolas told Autosport-Atlas: "Marcus lost a gear in the stage, then he got to the finish and the car was stuck in gear. He couldn't move the car.

"The marshals were trying to push the car, but as it was stuck in gear, it wouldn't go anywhere. Eventually they got it moved.  We don't know exactly what the problem was, maybe hydraulic or maybe a sensor we think.

"It's very disappointing; the championship is over for us. Okay, there is a mathematical chance, but it's not realistic. We would have to be one-two on the next two rallies and Citroen fail no finish. That's not really going to happen - so there's no point in Marcus starting tomorrow."

Gronholm's retirement promotes Petter Solberg to fourth overall.

Revised standings:

Pos Driver Make Time 1. Loeb Citroen 1:14:20.3 2. Duval Citroen + 41.3 3. Gardemeister Ford + 57.7 4. Solberg Subaru + 1:07.0 5. Sarrazin Subaru + 1:19.4 6. Sola Ford + 1:24.5 7. Kresta Ford + 2:18.3 8. Bengue Skoda + 2:20.5 9. Pons Citroen + 2:41.6 10. Galli Mitsubishi + 2:48.1 11. Warmbold Ford + 3:10.4 12. Revenuers Mitsubishi + 3:23.6 13. Schwarz Skoda + 3:31.6 14. Bernardi Peugeot + 3:59.3 15. Kopecky Skoda + 4:59.4 16. Panizzi Mitsubishi + 5:35.1 17. Sordo Citroen + 5:42.7 18. Vouilloz Skoda + 5:59.8 19. Meeke Citroen + 6:09.5
20. Baldacci Fiat + 7:17.7 All Timing Unofficial
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Series WRC
Author David Evans
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