Xsaras target the podium Lying second and fourth overnight respectively, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae will tomorrow take the start of the final leg of the Acropolis Rally. With over 100 kilometres remaining the third day should be at least ...
Xsaras target the podium
Lying second and fourth overnight respectively, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae will tomorrow take the start of the final leg of the Acropolis Rally. With over 100 kilometres remaining the third day should be at least as difficult as the first two. Both Citroën drivers aim to finish on the podium of the Greek round of the World Rally Championship.
"It won't be easy", Carlos warned."The heat was extreme today and is expected as strong for tomorrow. My second place is not yet secured but I will do my maximum to keep it."
The second day was even hotter than the opening leg, as today's conditions reached boiling temperatures at the foot of Mount Parnassos. The air became barely breathable in the Maliakos Gulf and in the Lamia service park.
On the morning loop of stages, Carlos Sainz set the second fastest time on all three speed tests. His consistency combined with the problems affecting Harri Rovanperä and Petter Solberg allowed the Madrid-based driver to climb up to second position overall before the overnight halt in Lamia.
Despite experiencing a loss of efficiency of the brakes, Colin McRae made a good recovery working his way from sixth to fourth place.
For the second loop of stages, the Xsara drivers chose the narrowest tyres of their possible options, as they would perform better on finer gravel.
The choice wasn't right. The road surface was cleaner than expected and under the heat the "Z" type tyres suffered. With the brakes in high demand, the two Xsaras lost some time in the final kilometres of the long Elatia stage. However Carlos kept second place, while Colin held onto third.
Carlos Sainz set the fastest time on the final stage of the day, confirming his usual motivation for a relentless attack.
Colin McRae dropped one position to the benefit of Petter Solberg. "I drove the pace I intended to. The last leg won't be easy, everything could happen and we will have to avoid making mistakes."
"We had a good morning, then a more difficult afternoon", explained team boss Guy Fréquelin."The second day was better though and we are now back in the fight. I suppose Colin and Carlos are right to expect some changes again tomorrow. We will do our best and count on the Xsara's reliability."