Another triumph for CitroÃ«n ! SÃ©bastien Loeb, his Monaco born team-mate Daniel Elena, their Xsara WRC and the whole CitroÃ«n team claimed a clear win in the Monaco harbour area today. With this success, following on from that ...
Another triumph for Citroën !
Sébastien Loeb, his Monaco born team-mate Daniel Elena, their Xsara WRC and the whole Citroën team claimed a clear win in the Monaco harbour area today. With this success, following on from that obtained in the first round of the 2003 season, and the superb performance in 2002, the Double Chevron brand has definitely written its name in the history books of this, the most prestigious rally in the World Championship.
The third, extremely classical, leg, consisted of two identical loops, including "Sospel-La Bollène" via the mythical Turini Pass, and "Lantosque- Lucéram" by the St Roch Pass. Having build up a solid lead, Sébastien Loeb was able to take things relatively cautiously : " The best option was the dry-weather tyre, which we chose. That meant that we had to negotiate, without making any mistakes, the slippery five-kilometre section around the Turini Pass, as well as the patches of ice on the St Roch Pass. Most of this had melted since our gravel crews went through, but I was still careful. The second pass through was less tricky, so the situation was easier to manage. I have a special feeling for this event. It gave me some disillusions two years ago, but since then, it has gone really well. This rally is legendary, and to win it for a second time gets our season off to the best start possible! "
Daniel Elena, from Monaco, Seb's faithful co-driver, joked : "I am unbeatable on home ground . Being serious for a moment, I have an amazing feeling of joy, quite a special feeling. This win has that little something extra, just like the Deutschland did for Seb."
Guy Fréquelin was particularly pleased with the way this success was 'built up': " Sébastien started off on Friday morning, watching the pace set by his rivals, taking care not to make any mistakes. He increased the pace in the evening, to take the lead. Yesterday he pushed hard, set the fastest time in every stage, most notably in the fog, and built up a good margin. Today, he managed his lead safely, with almost clockwork consistency. He has the perfect feel for such a difficult event. It is no surprise that he has done so well here over the last three years. The way it goes I'm convinced he's able to beat Tommi Mäkinen's wins record here of four consecutive victories."
Just as satisfied, Claude Satinet, General Director of Automobiles Citroën, drew up the first lessons of the season : "This rally shows what we had expected : the two Championships will be very open, and consistency will be one of the most important factors. I am happy and proud by what Sébastien and our team have achieved here. To win in Monte Carlo is the very best way to start off the season. This rally has an added, symbolic, value. It is excellent for Citroën to win it, both for the image of our brand, and for the motivation of all those who work for it. "
Michelin, Magneti-Marelli, Kinetic, OZ, AIS and Citroën Financement are the partners of the Citroën-Total team in the World Rally Championship.