Gronholm earns slender lead
Saturday 21 June 2003
World champion Marcus Gronholm of Finland in a a Peugeot 206 led after the opening day of the Rally of Cyprus on Friday ahead of teammate and fellow countryman Harri Rovanpera.
Driving along twisting mountain roads in a demanding terrain, intense heat and dusty conditions, the 35-year-old Gronholm finished the day 6.8 seconds ahead of Rovanpera, with Norway's Petter Solberg in a Subaru in third place, 10.2 seconds back.
Rovanpera was fastest on the first three special stages only to be overtaken by Gronholm on the fourth and final stage of the day. Punctures due to the rough road surface and transmission overheating hit several drivers.
Richard Burns, the current championship leader, also in a Peugeot, was one of those slowed by a puncture. He had the disadvantage of starting first and thus acting as a "roadsweeper" on the dirt tracks, losing more time.
He finsihed the day eighth, 32.2 seconds behind Gronholm. "I have been losing about one second per kilometer.
The heat inside the car is terrible. The air conditioning automatically switches off when the engine overheats," said Burns, the 2001 World Champion.
Saturday will be the toughest and longest of the three day event with eight special stages.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia