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Wittmann still among top ten

after first day of Monte Carlo Rallye

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By Franck Drui

20 January 2010 - 23:26
Wittmann still among top ten

Things went rather satisfactorily for Franz Wittmann/ Klaus Wicha on the afternoon of the first day of the Rallye Monte Carlo where the same two special stages as in the morning had to be completed.

On SS 3 (Burzet) over 27 kilometres the Interwetten duo managed to improve on their own time from the morning by more than half a minute – which meant eighth place on the stage itself.

Wittmann: “We are getting better and better acquainted with the Peugeot – thus we managed to be a little faster. But we still have to be careful not to become too high-spirited. That’s why decided to chose the safety variant of intermediate tyres in the afternoon on both stages, as well. This was, by the way, a decision that was made in accordance with team manager Ronald Leschhorn and our ice-spies, my father Franz Wittmann and Jörg Pattermann.”

At the top Mikko Hirvonen succeeded in front of Kris Meeke and Jan Kopecky on this stage.

SS 4 over 45 kilometres from St. Pierreville to Antraigues, on the other hand, posed several problems. Thus Wittmann/Wicha were not able to beat their own time from the morning. As SS-tenth they were 12 seconds slower.

Wittmann: “We not only had to drive 15 kilometres through dense fog but also had severe problems with our communication. I didn’t always hear Klaus which caused a certain uncertainty which in turn had its effects on the achieved times. At today’s service we will try to exchange the helmets. Otherwise I am very satisfied. We are ninth out of 19 S2000 cars that had taken up the rally and therefore best private team. The Peugeot runs smoothly, the team does a perfect job and the collaboration with Klaus Wicha is, apart from the aforementioned communication problems, excellent. That is why I am very confident for tomorrow.”

On SS 4 Ogier succeeded ahead of Meeke and Kopecky, but at the top vice-World Champion Mikko Hirvonen at the Ford Fiesta S2000 premiere superiorly leads by almost 42 seconds over Kris Meeke.

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