Gronholm shrugs off shake-down problem

Marcus Gronholm, the comfortable leader of this year's world rally championship, had his Peugeot 206 fail on him during Thursday morning's final shakedown for the Sanremo Rally. Despite the set back, the 2000 champion remains confident of securing a strong result in this weekend to further enhance his prospects of claiming a second title

Gronholm shrugs off shake-down problem

"It's quite unlucky," he sighed. "These hydraulic problems always seem to happen to me. The main aim here is for a solid points finish. But everything is possible, so why not fight for victory? Certainly, if Richard [Burns] is in a position to win, I must try hard to stop him, plus it would be nice to have my first victory on asphalt. I like this rally quite a lot - I prefer it to Catalunya - but I think tyre choice will be quite crucial."

Gronholm would normally expected to face a stern challenge from Peugeot's asphalt specialist Gilles Panizzi. However, the Frenchman is nursing a shoulder injury and is concerned about some of the rally's longer stages.

"I feel OK. I'm not sure I can be consistently fast on the long stages, but I think if everything stays as it is I'll be able to fight for victory," he said. "I've got no real pain now. I'm just going to do the best I can in this rally."

Another driver to hit trouble was Hyundai's Belgian star Freddy Loix, who's Accent suffered a turbo fire.

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