WRC

Rally Poland: Citroen Jr Team preview

The Citroen Junior Team faces new territory The Citroen Junior Team will field three C4 WRCs on the Rally Poland for Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt, Evgeny Novikov/Dale Moscatt and Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia. The eighth round of the 2009...

The Citroen Junior Team faces new territory

The Citroen Junior Team will field three C4 WRCs on the Rally Poland for Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt, Evgeny Novikov/Dale Moscatt and Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia. The eighth round of the 2009 World Rally Championship will take place in Mikolajki from 25-28 June.

The FIA World Rally Championship returns to Poland this season. Back in 1973, when the World Rally Championship calendar was first created, Rally Poland was one of the first events that welcomed the crews, although only three entrants managed to make the finish! Now, 36 years later, the Citroen Junior Team will tackle a brand new event based in Mikolajki.

Rally Poland was run for the first time in 1921; making it the second-oldest rally in the history of the sport after Monte Carlo and it has always enjoyed a high level of popularity. The rally takes place in the region around the Mazurian Lakes, on gravel roads that promise high average speeds.

As was the case in Italy and Greece, Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt and Evgeny Novikov/ Dale Moscatt have been nominated to score manufacturer points for the Citroen Junior Team, which is currently fourth in the World Championship.

Conrad Rautenbach and Daniel Barritt, who finished fifth on the Acropolis Rally, will be getting to grips with this new event for the first time. " I don't know Poland at all and I know the rally even less " he said.

" From what I have understood, the roads there are going to be quick. If the route looks anything like Finland then I'll be happy, because I love those types of roads. We learnt a lot in Greece and I can't wait get stuck back into the action again! "

Having scored their first points in Sardinia, Evgeny Novikov and Dale Moscatt were the best performers on the Acropolis Rally with four fastest stage times. The young Russian, whose potential is clear to see, hopes once more to exhibit his talent on this new event. " It's a new rally for everyone and a great opportunity for us to show our speed " he commented. " I can't wait to get to the start so that we can continue making progress. "

By finishing second in Greece, their first podium with the Citroen C4 WRC, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia returned to the top 10 of the championship before making the trip over to Poland. " Our objectives haven't changed, " he concluded. " Poland will be a different type of rally but it will be just as difficult. We are going to maintain the same strategy in order to accumulate as much experience as possible and be sure of getting to the finish. We took a lot away from Greece and our goal is to try and drive the same sort of event in Poland. "

Three questions to... Sebastien Ogier

Did you expect to finish second in Greece?

" It's a nice reward for everyone's hard work since the start of the season. We've gained a lot of experience on some very different rallies. The team has worked really hard to iron out our small problems and we've also been able to learn from our mistakes. We always knew though that all the hard work was going to pay off sooner or later. But I'm very happy that we have achieved this result on only the seventh rally of the year. "

Do you think that getting onto the podium of a World Championship event could mark a turning point for you?

" I honestly believe that this result will allow us to approach the next few rallies more serenely. After the start we had to the season, we felt a bit of pressure. We need to demonstrate now that we deserve our place in the WRC. Our second place in Greece did us a lot of favours but the battle is far from won. We have to keep going now in the same way. "

You took part in the recce for Rally Poland in 2008. What are the characteristics of the rally route?

" The Rally Poland is a new event for all the crews, so we all come to it with the same basic level of knowledge. This at least means that we have one disadvantage less to deal with. The route is very quick on quite gravelly roads, and I think that the surface will degrade as more competitors drive past. It's going to be a good rally that is quite similar to Finland but without the crests. On the whole, the scenery is much flatter. It's not going to be an easy event but none of the rallies on the World Championship ever are. "

-credit: citroen

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Conrad Rautenbach , Daniel Barritt , Dale Moscatt , Sébastien Ogier , Julien Ingrassia , Evgeny Novikov
Teams Citroën World Rally Team