Rovanpera praises Peugeot

Telstra Rally Australia podium finisher Harri Rovanpera has praised Peugeot's 307 WRC and admitted that the machine had made a huge step forward since he last drove the car a month ago

Rovanpera praises Peugeot

The Finn finished second Down Under to give the French manufacturer a lift after a torrid season in which it has developed the 307 - the successor to the ultra-successful 206. Team-mate Marcus Gronholm took the team's only victory of the year in Finland in which the team struggled with reliability problems first with the four-speed then the five-speed gearbox.

"The last time I drove the car was one and a half months ago in Sardinia," Rovanpera said. "The car has really moved on, though. The biggest difference is the gearbox, which works much better, but there have been improvements in the suspension as well. The car is much nicer to drive."

Gronholm had been leading the event in Australia before crashing out on the first stage of leg two on Saturday. But the Finn was reassured by the car's pace on the first day and is confident of improvement in 2005.

"I'm very disappointed to have retired from this event, because our car clearly had the speed and reliability to win here," the double world champion said. "But the main thing is that all the hard work with the 307 is beginning to pay off. We finally have a car that is quick and will also be reliable. That's a very good sign for next year when we're going to be pushing flat-out in order to win the championship."

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