Citroen, Loeb and Elena perform in front of their home crowd
Just weeks after the end of the 2009 World Rally Championship, Citroen Racing, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were back in action this weekend for the Rallye du Var, the last round of the French national championship. The event was won by Sebastien in a C4 WRC with his wife Severine sitting alongside. Meanwhile, Daniel achieved his objective which was to reach the finish and have as much fun as possible in a C2-R2 MAX navigated by his friend Olivier Campana.
With France not down to host a round of this year's World Championship, Citroen Racing, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena decided that the Rallye du Var would be a first class opportunity to take a bow in front of their many fans.
Just as he did on this event in 2008, Sebastien Loeb had wife Severine sitting alongside to call out the notes: "We enjoy doing the odd rally together. Last year, we finished on the podium on the Rallye du Var in a C2 S1600. When Olivier Quesnel suggested we repeat the operation this time round with a C4 WRC, we didn't hesitate a second. We were under absolutely no pressure and our only aim was to entertain the spectators. This event holds a special place in my career, since it was here that I was given my first works drive with the Citroen Xsara Kit-Car in 2000."
As icing on the cake, the Loeb husband and wife crew went on to win this weekend's fixture outright: "It's always nice when you win, and I also prefer giving a celebratory kiss on the podium to Severine rather than Daniel. This wasn't an easy rally. The weather was very unsettled, which made tyre choice quite complex, but I am pleased to dedicate this win to Citroen."
Running further down the leaderboard, Daniel Elena had fun, too, at the wheel of a C2-R2 MAX entered in parallel to the Citroen Racing Trophy. With best friend Olivier Campana sitting in the right- th hand seat, the Monegasque reached the finish in 54 position: "We covered the entire rally without ever knowing what our position was. The main thing for us was to enjoy this rally's fabulous stages and thank our supporters. The C2-R2 MAX may be a pucker rally car, but it is so easy to drive. It's ideal for an amateur like me. That said, I'm looking forward to getting back in the C4 WRC... if Severine lets me!"