After finally obtaining its first win of the season with the 307 WRC in Finland, Peugeot Sport has recruited tar rally specialists Freddy Loix and Cédric Robert for this weekend’s Rallye Deutschland.
After finally taking its first win of the season with the 307 WRC in Finland, Peugeot Sport has recruited tar rally specialists Freddy Loix and Cédric Robert for this weekend’s Rallye Deutschland.
Marcus Grönholm's victory in his home country was a tremendous boost for the morale of the entire team. With a win now under the 307 WRC's belt to prove the car's speed and competitiveness, Peugeot's intention from now until the end of the year will be to fight for first place in every one of the remaining rounds.
For Germany, the two drivers nominated by the team as eligible to score manufacturers' points in Germany are Marcus Grönholm and 2002 French Super 1600 Championship runner-up Robert, while a third 307 WRC has been entered for Loix.
Grönholm finished second in Germany last year, but has never won a WRC event on an asphalt course. Last season, Robert started every asphalt round of the World Championship with a 206 WRC and finished top privateer each time.
"I am delighted to be driving a 307 in Germany. The car has competed in only one asphalt round so far, the Monte Carlo Rally. I am convinced it has the potential to win and its performances on the loose are a good pointer," said the French driver.
But Robert and Loix will nevertheless be under pressure to perform well in Germany… Belgian Loix has publicly admitted that he will be driving for the survival of his career when he returns to Peugeot’s works team.
Similarly, Peugeot has confirmed that Robert, 31, isn’t certain to compete in a 307 WRC again, ramping up the pressure on his first full works drive.
“Looking at his achievements last year, he has done the same speed as Gilles Panizzi, more or less. I think he could be in the top five and what we have asked him to do is protect Marcus,” Peugeot Sport director Jean-Pierre Nicolas said.
Like his team-mates, Robert will use a five- rather than a four-speed gearbox, but Nicolas admitted that this is a gamble: “It is not perfect yet, but we must go”.