Sébastien Loeb stopped at the sight of the finish
As Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were close to scoring points in their first Rally GB in a World Rally Car, they had to renounce 10 km from the finish of Margam (SS16). The traditional final stage of the British Rally has frequently set the scene of drama. Passing by Margam Castle, the stage becomes enormously rutted, with plenty of stones en route.
The young Citroën crew was forced to retire in this stage depriving them of a possible sixth place : the front left wishbone of their Xsara WRC broke due to the damage caused by the stones.
Despite his disappointment, Sébastien praised the improvements made since the start of the rally. "If I choose as a reference the second run in Resolfen this morning, I can measure how much the car is easier to handle. Our work on the rear dampers was effective. My feeling with the Xsara was getting better and better, and I felt very confident with the car. Obviously, it helped us to set good times. I am really looking forward to knowing Colin McRae's opinion on the Xsara and to working with him to make it even more efficient."
"We can only regret this retirement so close to a points finish" said Guy Fréquelin. "I am disappointed for Seb' and Daniel who performed very well once again, but also for the team who worked relentlessly to improve the car's behaviour. On the positive side, I want to highlight the progress we made, allowing us to fight with the leading group when the terrain wasn't too tough. But we still have work to do in very rough conditions. As a conclusion, I would say I am satisfied with our participation in the rally. We realise once again how valuable data recorded in actual rallying is, especially on a tricky terrain like this one."