Gronholm crashes out in Sweden

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:50 IST

Marcus Gronholm crashed out early on Sunday, allowing Petter Solberg a comfortable victory in the Rally of Sweden.

Gronholm crashes out in Sweden

Sweden:

Marcus Gronholm crashed out early on Sunday, allowing Petter Solberg a comfortable victory in the Rally of Sweden. Solberg and co-driver Phil Mills started with a 12.6 second advantage over second-placed Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen. This was a useful, but by no means decisive, lead. The Norwegian took the first special stage of the day, but only by 0.4 seconds from Gronholm The following one though, effectively settled the race. Limping onGronholm spun-out and somersaulted into a ditch. The Finn limped on for a few kilometres on three wheels before having to bow to the inevitable and retire from the race. A day to forget too, for Sebastien Loeb. The reigning world champion also failed to complete the rally, withdrawing on the penultimate stage - 19 - with engine trouble. Toni Gardemeister was one of those who benefited most from the reduction in the field. Third placeThe Finn didn't win one of the 20 stages over the three days - but still managed to secure third place - earning six points in the process - and taking over at the top of the WRC standings with 14 points - one better than Markko Martin. The latter was one of Sunday's most impressive performers and the Estonian took special stages 16 and 17 on the way to clinching second place. But this was Solberg's race - his first Rally of Sweden victory in six attempts came thanks to an aggregate time of three hours and 52.1 seconds. After failing to complete the season-opener in Monaco, he's very much back in the hunt. (AP)



Topics : Formula 1
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