Happy Gronholm Wants More Speed

Former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm believes his Peugeot team need to start focusing on making their 307WRC car faster, despite another strong showing helping the French maintain their lead in the Constructors' Championship

Happy Gronholm Wants More Speed

Gronholm managed to snatch third place in the Rally of Sardinia on Sunday, after pressurising Mitsubishi rival Harri Rovanpera into a mistake on the second stage of the day, but he believes the team need to work hard to make improvements if they are to maintain their position for the rest of the year.

"I really wasn't sure if I would be able to pass Harri, especially when I saw that he was fast on the first stage today," explained Gronholm, whose hopes of fighting for the lead were dashed by a roll on the first day. "I thought my only chance would be to keep him under pressure, and this tactic must have worked because he went off on the following stage.

"It's been a tough Rally - maybe the toughest of the year - but the car has once more been perfectly reliable which is very encouraging. Now I would like to find a bit more speed."

Teammate Markko Martin, who finished fourth, claimed the main thing he will take away from the event is improving his knowledge of the team's Pirelli tyres.

"There was not a lot I could do today apart from try and drive safely to the finish," said the Estonian. "That still required the maximum concentration, because the conditions and the stages were extremely difficult.

"But I've learnt a lot on this event about the car and the tyres, which will be very useful for the three rough and hot rallies coming up in Cyprus, Turkey and Greece."

Peugeot motorsport boss Jean-Pierre Nicolas has vowed to help his drivers get the equipment they need to win - and believes improvements must come from both the car and tyres.

"The big satisfaction is that we've not had the slightest problem with either of the cars," he said. "The pairing of Loeb and Citroen were untouchable here, but without his roll on day one Marcus could have finished second.

"It's clear that we have to continue to work hard in order to give our drivers a car to their complete satisfaction, and we especially have to continue our close collaboration with Pirelli in order to put ourselves in a position to win rallies."

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Series WRC
Author Jonathan Noble
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