A Citroen C4 WRC one-two in Italy
One week after the end of the Rally Great Britain and its 36th victory in the World Rally Championship, the Citroen C4 WRC claimed a one-two finish at the Rallye de Monza. Spain's Dani Sordo finished in front of Dindo Capello at the Italian circuit.
Taking place within the circuit complex that hosts the Italian Grand Prix, the Rally de Monza is run on the current Formula One track as well as the old high-speed loop.
"It's always a real pleasure to come to Monza," said Team Manager Benoit Nogier before the start. "We've been coming here for a few years and this event is a fantastic European party to bring the rally season to a close. We had three Citroen C4 WRCs in Monza for Dani Sordo, Dindo Capello, an endurance racing driver who we already ran on this rally last year, and Felice Re, who drives a C4 on the Italian asphalt championship."
This year's Monza Rally was characterised by heavy rain and a thrilling duel between Dani Sordo and Dindo Capello throughout the three days of action.
The Spaniard, who finished fifth in this year's World Rally Championship, claimed the advantage on SS1 (Lesmo) by going 2.4 seconds quicker than his Italian rival. But the triple winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours fought back on the following stage (Junior) to end the day with a 0.4 second lead over Sordo. Felice Re was fifth, 16.6 seconds further back.
The two leaders continued to trade tenths of seconds the following day, despite the heavy rain. Dani Sordo was consistently the quickest in the shorter stages (Junior, Lesmo and Monza) while Dindo Capello was faster than him on Grand Prix: a longer 32-kilometre stage that was run twice. By the end of day two, Dani Sordo had built up an 11.9 second lead over Dindo Capello and nearly a minute over Felice Re, who had made his way up to third place.
Dindo Capello set two more fastest stage times at the end of the rally, but Dani Sordo still won the 30th Monza Rally by 5.1 seconds. Felice Re was forced to retire on the final special stage.
Dani Sordo commented at the finish: "Conditions were really difficult because of all the rain. Capello was very quick on this rally, which he knows perfectly. Nonetheless we managed to win. This is exactly the way I wanted to say goodbye to the Citroen C4 WRC. I'll always have some fantastic memories of this car."
Dindo Capello, a quadruple winner of this event in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009, added: "We had the pace to fight for the win. It was a very exciting battle, and Dani did a great job."