Much is expected from the 2005-spec Peugeot 307 WRC in Monte Carlo, where Marcus Gronholm and Markko Martin’s rally cars will sport wider tracks, bigger and more flared wings and revised air intakes, this weekend.

Much is expected from the 2005-spec Peugeot 307 WRC in Monte Carlo, where Marcus Gronholm and Markko Martin’s rally cars will sport wider tracks, bigger and more flared wings and revised air intakes this weekend.


Peugeot Sport team technical manager Michel Nandan said that due to the WRC regulation changes introduced for 2005, the maximum permitted width for cars exceeding 4,2 metres in length had been increased from 1 770 mm to 1 800 mm.


“An increase of 15 mm either side may not seem that much at first sight, yet it can make a significant improvement to handling. We have made the most of this opportunity to increase the track dimensions of the 307 WRC, and this in turn has led to a number of knock-on modifications,” Nadan said.


“We have also profited from the need to adapt the front and rear bumpers as a function of the new dimensions to revise the air intake, with a view to optimising airflow to the engine, as well as the rear wing, which forms part of an overall upgrade of the aerodynamic package,” he added.


Meanwhile, Gronholm said of the Monte Carlo event: “The first encounter of the season probably won't be the easiest of course. It's still very much a fickle event when the weather and stage conditions are mixed. It's never much fun driving over snow or ice on slicks, although I have gained a lot of experience and confidence in this sort of situation."


The Finn’s new team-mate, Martin, added: "On paper, the Monte Carlo Rally should suit me. I finished second last year and I have become increasingly competitive on asphalt in the past two years. That said, the Monte is still the most unpredictable round of the championship and my task will be made especially difficult by the fact that the team, car and tyres will all be new to me.


“So I have to be realistic, even though my first tests were positive. The Peugeot 307 WRC seems very quick on asphalt and I am just keen to get on with the championship," he added.