Peugeot boss: The Devil was in the details...

Peugeot Sport team director Corrado Provera says the team will be leaving Cyprus in a positive frame of mind - despite a disastrous debut for its latest 206 WRC evolution which saw all three cars retire from the event

Peugeot boss: The Devil was in the details...

World champ Marcus Gronholm stopped halfway through the final day with fuel pressure problems while lying third. He joined second leg retirement Didier Auriol (overheating) and day one DNF Harri Rovanpera (suspension damage) in the third 100 percent retirement of the season for the reigning makes' champions.

The latest evolution was designed to counter the car's Achilles' heel - it's ability to withstand the battering of rough events such as Cyprus, Acropolis and Safari. But despite the failures, Provera says the rally has proved valuable as a learning exercise and shakedown for the rallies ahead.

"The problems for Didier and Marcus were on a part of the car that was new," said Provera. "Nevertheless, we think the new evolution is stronger, and we have learnt a lot here for the rough rallies to come."

Although the squad is still to strip Gronholm's car to get to the root of his fuel pressure problem, it is suspected that it may be a repeat of a problem encountered in testing, when a fuel pipe within the tank itself became disconnected.

"The problems here have been in the details," added Provera, "not the important and fundamental items in the car. The main problems that we had on the stiffness of the car have been solved with the 2001 version.

"Our performance and speed on such a tough rally has been quite encouraging. Argentina [another 100 percent retirement] was completely our fault. Here, the result has happened because we were short of parts and we even finished the car here. But it's certainly not because the car is bad."

Provera conceded that with six of the 14 WRC rounds down, the marque's chances of defending its makes' title are now exceedingly slim.

"Ford are taking a strong option on the title," he said. "They are flying away, but our way forward is still right for us."

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