Loeb/Elena victorious in Donegal Rally with the C4 WRC Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena won the `Donegal Rally' this week end, the Irish tarmac championship's fifth round which took place in the area of Letterkeny. Their participation in the...
Loeb/Elena victorious in Donegal Rally with the C4 WRC
Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena won the `Donegal Rally' this week end, the Irish tarmac championship's fifth round which took place in the area of Letterkeny. Their participation in the event was form part of the team's build-up to Rally Ireland which will figure in the World Rally Championship calendar for the first time this year.
Rather wintry weather conditions compared to what expected welcomed the Citroen Sport's team. As Sebastien and Daniel were completing the second pass reconnaissance and started their shakedown session on Thursday lunch time, temperatures hardly reached 9C while a fine and constant rain fell on the area.
However, this was a perfect opportunity for the engineers to gather all the needed information for the car's set-up.
The first leg included six special stages, all narrow, fast and bumpy. Difficult, in a word! The local drivers benefited from their knowledge of the terrain and of the weather while Seb and Daniel were progressively learning about the tricky profile of the stages. The engineers were also working on the basis on the first lot of information in the aim of adapting the car's set-up to the conditions.
This careful work paid from the second leg and after three stages, Sebastien took the lead of the event until the finish on Sunday. Back at the parc ferme on Saturday evening, he already had a 40 seconds lead and increased it to two minutes on the final day taking place on dry roads. The Citroen team felt very satisfied with the way the event went.
Sebastien explained: "It was a very good exercise. I am delighted with our week end and with the work we 've achieved to prepare the Ireland Rally. We now have a very good idea of the type of terrain we will find in November as well as in which direction we need to work for the settings. On my side, I familiarised with those fast, narrow and bumpy stages and with this very special type of tarmac. The level of competition made our coming even more interesting and gave us some good reference. Daniel and I would also like to thank the organisers for the way they hosted us, as well as pay a tribute to the huge number of spectators who have followed us throughout the weekend despite the wet weather. It was great to see as much enthusiasm around the rally. It was a popular event and a real party."