snatches victory for Castrol Ford in NZ thriller
on = September 3, 2007, 8:27 am
Release Author = Castrol
Release Summary = Grönholm clinched victory by just
0.3 seconds for Castrol-Ford in New Zealand thriller
Release Body = Marcus Grönholm clinched victory
in New Zealand by just 0.3 seconds after a nail-biting finale to
arguably the best event of the season. Meanwhile Mikko Hirvonen
took third to further cement the Castrol-Ford team’s
position at the head of the World Rally Championship.
before the start mean that Grönholm would
not have face the kind of loose gravel that could scupper his chances
of victory before they began. However, a hefty dose of ‘long-haul
flu’ didn’t help. “I didn’t feel 100%
but I knew I had to attack this morning,” said Grönholm.
He won the opening pair of tests and hung on to his lead for the
rest of the day as Loeb and the rest launched their attack.
team mate Hirvonen, who had accepted the traditional
Maori challenge on behalf of all the crews at the ceremonial start,
lost his tyre gamble and ended the day third. “I chose
a slightly harder compound than Marcus but they didn’t give
me 100% feeling on these heavily cambered roads,” he
morning saw the honours shared between Grönholm and
Loeb. Grönholm only relinquished
his lead after hitting a big hole and easing off when the car felt
unusually nervous. Hirvonen produced another solid
day at the wheel of the second Focus RS to maintain his podium slot
but all eyes were now on the battle for victory. “It’s
going to be a great finale,” said Grönholm.
“The stages around Raglan are some of the most spectacular
in the series. We’ve made some set-up changes for the final
push and it’ll be a good battle I hope…”
regained the lead on the opening stage before Loeb hit back over
the next two. Following a service in Raglan, Grönholm
launched a final attack and regained the lead by 0.7 seconds after
Whaanga Coast. Neither driver could relax on the superspecial at
Mystery Creek but while Loeb won the stage it was not enough and
a famous victory was secured…those 0.3 seconds equating to
just over seven metres between the two protagonists at the finish
of the 353kms event.
was the closest and best battle of my career and I’m delighted
to have won it!” said the Finn after securing his 30th
career victory. “The nice thing was that the whole team
could watch the final stage and so they all shared in this result
at the same time.”
team manager Malcolm Wilson said: “I’ve
never seen a finish like that in my career. When I saw Marcus jumping
up and down on the top of the car I knew he’d done it but
maybe I’ll send him a bill for the dents!”
finale to this rally was as dramatic as any sporting event in the
world and shows how exciting the WRC is,” added Ford
Team RS director Jost Capito.
Rally New Zealand top six finishers
1. Grönholm/Rautiainen (Ford)
2. Loeb/Elena (Citroen)
3. Hirvonen/Lehinen (Ford)
4. Atkinson/Prevot (Subaru)
5. Latvala/Antilla (Ford)
6. Sordo/Martin (Citroen)
Castrol’s world class expertise and engine
oil technology means it is recommended by the worlds leading
car manufacturers, commended by experts and trusted by over 100
million customers. Built on a history of technical innovation over
the past 100 years, Castrol motor
oil drivers and cars have been at the forefront of motor
sport and record-breaking competition for more than 75 years.
is part of BP and is the market and technical leader for
specialised industrial and car oil lubricants for the retail consumer.
Castrol is the market leader in marine lubricants and a
key player in the aviation and commercial vehicles market. It is
also the third largest marketer of lubricants
Site = http://www.castrol.co.uk/castrol/castrolglobalhomepage.do
Details = For further information on Castrol please contact:
Castrol UK Limited
Tel: +44 (1793) 452781
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