Wittmann dropped out at the Monte Carlo Rallye
on SS 13 by accident while lying in eighth place
After the 78th Monte Carlo Rallye had finally moved from the French Sea Alps to the Monegasque capital this afternoon, 40 of the initial 59 teams took up the "Night of the Long Knives" at 17.50.
Lying in excellent seventh place, Franz Wittmann/ Klaus Wicha in their
Peugeot 207 S2000 were applauded by the numerous fans as fourth car on the road. Not only for the Interwetten Racing Team but for all other teams as well the topic of the day was the right choice of tyres. Wittmann remained on the safe side and relied on snow tyres once again. Other drivers voted for cut slicks, like Portuguese Magalhaes. Czech Kopecky chose the most adventurous combination of all with one slick each front right and rear left.
SS 12 went from Peira Cava over 18,42 km for the first time over the
notorious Col de Turini. At the beginning, 2,5 km saw a snowy and muddy
surface followed by 8,5 km of wet and moist conditions while the roads were dry on the remaining 7 kilometres. Wittmann/Wicha reached nint-best time here. Thus Kopecky managed to overtake Wittmann here which left the latter in eighth place. The biggest opponent of Wittmann for scoring one IRC-point was Portuguese Bruno Magalhaes, who made good seven seconds on the Interwetten-driver on this stage. Therefore he was only 20,7 seconds behind the Austrian anymore.
Wittmann: "For this stage I chose snow tyres since we had to be prepared for ice on the Col de Turini. This unfortunately also cost us some time."
Thus the pressure increased on Franz Wittmann/ Klaus Wicha. After two
minutes drive on SS 13 from Lantosque over 19,13 km to Luceram the Peugeot 207 S2000 of the Austrian broke away, hit a snowwall and thereby damaged the car too much to think of going on.
Wittmann: "Thinking of the time lost I tried to be extra fast on SS 13.
Thereby I missed a breaking point, the car hit the wall on the right side,
both wheels were damaged and I lost propulsion. Obviously, I am deeply
disappointed by this drop out."
The Interwetten driver can nevertheless be satisfied with this performance
at the Monte Carlo Rallye, all things concerned. It was, in fact, a
first-class performance which impressed many international experts. The
first collaboration with the German Team Remo Motorsport, headed by Ronald Leschhorn, also worked out perfectly. As did the co-operation with German co-driver Klaus Wicha.
Wittmann on this: "At the Monte the result is the main thing, less the
reached times. Too many circumstances lead to varying situations which have differing consequences on snow and ice. Since I was in sixth place for a long time I had a lot of fun, learned a lot with and about the Peugeot 207 S2000 and had a positive impression of the rally. The only thing that wasn’t planned was this kind of ending."