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An escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. You would never see an ‘Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order’ sign, just ‘Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.’ - Mitch Hedberg
Chris Atkinson was the fastest driver on this run, claiming the win for the Subaru team with a time of 10'27"4, a full and surprising 5.1 seconds ahead of Sébastien Loeb's works Citroën C4...
1.Loeb - C4 - 2h21'03"2
2.Gronholm - Ford - 2h21'34"2
3.Duval - Xsara - 2h21'47"4
4.Hirvonen - Ford - 2h21'48"6
5.Kopecky - Skoda - 2h23'32"3
6.Gardemeister - Xsara - 2h23'36"5
7.P.Solberg - Subaru - 2h24'00"0
8.Pons - Subaru - 2h24'54"2
9.Latvala - Ford - 2h25'07"4
10.Wilson - Ford - 2h28'49"2
11.Atkinson - Subaru - 2h29'54"0
Chris Atkinson has been hauling butt !
End of Day 2 Overall:
1.Loeb - C4 - 2h48'40"4
2.Gronholm - Ford - 2h49'18"2
3.Duval - Xsara - 2h49'30"8
4.Hirvonen - Ford - 2h49'35"9
5.Kopecky - Skoda - 2h51'29"1
6.Gardemeister - Xsara - 2h51'31"8
7.P.Solberg - Subaru - 2h51'47"5
8.Pons - Subaru - 2h52'56"8
9.Latvala - Ford - 2h53'34"2
10.Atkinson - Subaru - 2h57'31"3
11.Wilson - Ford - 2h57'44"2
End of Day 2 ....
The final special stage of the day belongs to Australian Chris Atkinson, who drove his works Subaru Impreza across the difficult Baumholder military property in 17'49"8. "I'm just learning all the time, making improvements with my driving," he said.
Citroën's Sébastien Loeb drove into second place 1.9 seconds beyond, admitting that he has started to manage his overall lead. "I drove very smoothly in this one," he shared. "It is very long and I don't want to lose everything."
Third-placed François Duval had a lot to gain however as he continued his push throughout the afternoon. A good pace on this run permitted the OMV Kronos Citroën driver to move up in the general rankings.
Ford team drivers Marcus Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen came next in fourth and fifth positions, with Hirvonen sounding somewhat relieved... "We are here," he declared on arrival.
Only a half-second behind Hirvonen, Petter Solberg now has a much better feel for his works Subaru Impreza; now it's a question of maintaining the pace. "It's a tough stage, you have to be very careful," said the sixth-placed driver.
Jan Kopecky's Skoda reached seventh position, while Toni Gardemeister followed in eighth.
In the overall rankings struggle between both drivers, Gardemeister encountered trouble on this stage.
"I don't know what happened. Suddenly there was no more dampening," he reported. "I have to check what is broken," Gardemeister added, suspecting his front right suspension.
17.7 seconds off the stage winner, Xevi Pons claimed the ninth spot under official Subaru colours, declaring: "This afternoon is better, every stage I am more comfortable."
Jari-Matti Latvala took the tenth position for Stobart Ford, a full 41.1 seconds away from the fastest driver.
On this last stage of a tumultuous Rally Germany, several events have taken place. François Duval has driven superbly today, winning every stage of the third leg; by keeping the pressure on Marcus Grönholm, the OMV Kronos driver's strategy has seemingly paid off.
As Grönholm was making his way across the Moselwein 2 stage, he went off and badly damaged his car a few kilometres from the end. He brought his limping works Ford Focus across the finish line with a smashed rear and what seemed to be a broken suspension. A back wheel had been punctured and there was slight smoke emanating from the damage with fluid leaking underneath.
After stopping to change the damaged wheel, a truly upset championship leader slowly made his way towards the service park. "I lost a bit of concentration," he admitted. "We'll have to be sharper in the next rally."
Stage winner François Duval(5 stage wins day 3)was elated by his overall success on this rally, a performance which has brought him to the second step of the podium. "I pushed a lot today," he said.
"After eight months (away from the wheel) it is incredible!"
Subaru's Petter Solberg was more than happy to conclude the event by taking this stage's second place eight seconds away, and this despite an unexpected surprise: "I almost hit a cow in there, a cow in the middle of the road!"
Concluding the stage in third position but winning a remarkable sixth consecutive Rally Germany, Citroën's Sébastien Loeb said "It is a really big pleasure," but also took a moment to give special regards: "I must say 'thank you' to Mister François Duval."
Toni Gardemeister drove into fourth place 13.5 seconds after the leader, saying his rally at the wheel of the Astra Racing Citroën Xsara was not his easiest: "Too many problems – I put the handbrake in a hairpin and it blew up!"
After a good challenge over the rally week-end, Ford's Mikko Hirvonen took the fifth spot just ahead of the Stobart team's Jari-Matti Latvala in sixth.
"My first points from a tarmac rally," reported Latvala. "That's why I can be happy even though my speed has not been up there. This was a big learning thing for me."
Overall end of Day 3.
1.Loeb - C4 - 3h27'27"5
2.Duval - Xsara - 3h27'47"8
3.Hirvonen - Ford - 3h28'46"6
4.Gronholm - Ford - 3h29'04"0
5.Kopecky - Skoda - 3h30'34"6
6.P.Solberg - Subaru - 3h30'42"2
7.Gardemeister - Xsara - 3h31'05"0
8.Latvala - Ford - 3h32'56"8
9.Wilson - Ford - 3h38'31"7
10.Wilks - Ford - 3h47'15"3
And you ask what happened to Atkinson and Pons?
Subaru's Chris Atkinson has retired from the Rallye Deutschland, the tenth round... after a mistake in the 18.08 kilometre Moselwein 1 test.
The Aussie who had been running ninth overall, after having lost around 8 minutes on day 1 in SS2, when he beached his Impreza, hit a wall 1.5 kilometres from the finish of SS16, when he made an error under braking. The impact damaged the front-right corner of his car and he was forced to stop.
His exit follows that of his team-mate, Xavier Pons, who went out in the stage before with engine problems. As such Petter Solberg is now the sole runner left for the Banbury-based outfit.
Last edited by Weasel 555; 08-19-2007 at 09:56 AM.
Duval with 2nd! I can't wait for the torrents!!! Petter acutally finished, too! :-D
Loeb is the first in WRC history to win the same rally 6 times in a row.
Joe/Flyin' Under The RadarThe Legendary Hammerdown Wagon
Yup he is