Gronholm takes the blame

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm has taken responsibility for the crash that brought his Wales Rally GB to an end on Saturday

Gronholm takes the blame

Gronholm was running third overall in the rally and had just set the second quickest time on the first stage of the day despite gearbox problems on the 307 WRC. The accident occurred on the treacherous SS9 Epynt 1 stage, the second test of the day, when he hit a post.

"On SS9 I was distracted by a warning light on my dashboard display," Gronholm explained, "which meant I wasn't concentrating properly. We came towards a normal left-hand corner, and I turned into it as usual but behind a straw bale on the inside of the corner was a metal post that took the front wheel off.

"I was able to fix the car with some parts that we were carrying, but it took too long and so we are out of the rally. It's been a difficult event and this is clearly not my season..."

The Finn's retirement means he is now unlikely to challenge for the World Championship, Gronholm can only collect 40 points in the reminaing rallies and is already 37 adrift of points leader Sevastien Loeb (Citroen).

With Gronholm and team-mate Daniel Carlsson both out of the rally, responsibility is on Harri Rovanpera to produce the goods. The Finn has moved up to sixth place overall after overhauling Subaru's Mikko Hirvonen on SS14, the Margam 1.

Carlsson rejoined the event under the SupeRally-style re-start system. Gronholm has confirmed that he will not take advantage of the system on the final four stages on Sunday.

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