BFGoodrich Top Four in WRC Debut - Tire Review Magazine

BFGoodrich Top Four in WRC Debut

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) BFGoodrich marked its WRC debut at the 74th Monte Carlo Rally by monopolising the podium with three different partners – Ford, Citroen and Peugeot – and even clinching fourth place, too.

Two-time world champion Marcus GrÖnholm and co-driver Timo Rautiainen collected their first Monte Carlo win in a Ford Focus RS WRC06, finishing clear of triple Monte winner SÉbastien Loeb driving a CitroËn, with fellow-Finn Toni Gardemeister and Austrian Manfred Stohl coming in third and fourth, respectively, in their Peugeots.

Tyre choice is even more important in the Monte Carlo Rally, the longest-established rally of them all, as it is the only event where drivers have to compete on two surfaces – asphalt and ice/snow sections.

“This was the toughest Monte Carlo Rally I have done,” said winner GrÖnholm, who was delighted to put Ford back on top of the rallying world. “It was tight all the way to the finish, because we had to start the last stage with a flat tyre, but thankfully the run-flat mousse worked perfectly. I am very happy for the Ford team and for BFGoodrich, who gave me a very competitive package for this rally.”

The 2006 Monte Carlo Rally was marked by extremely taxing conditions, which constantly switched from dry to wet, with frequent patches of ice and some snow. Subaru’s Petter Solberg lost all hope of victory in Friday’s opening group of stages, while last year’s champion Loeb built a gap of 1:16 over his closest chaser before being caught out by one of the event’s countless hazards on Special Stage six.

He resumed leg two in eighth position, but clawed his way back to finish second overall after posting six consecutive fastest stage times. Nintey-one cars started the Monte and promising 18-year-old British driver Matthew Wilson, driving for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team and competing in only his third WRC rally, finished a creditable 15th.

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