Victory for Loeb and hope for Sordo... Just two weeks after the RallyRACC Catalunya, it's a case of deja-vu for the Kronos team. The squad finishes the sequence of asphalt events at the start of the year with two victories in two rallies. Once...
Victory for Loeb and hope for Sordo...
Just two weeks after the RallyRACC Catalunya, it's a case of deja-vu for the Kronos team. The squad finishes the sequence of asphalt events at the start of the year with two victories in two rallies. Once more there are two Xsara WRCs on the podium. And in Corsica, there are three Xsaras in the top six.
Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena notched up the 23rd win of their career against a Marcus Gronholm who was on fighting form. Seb explained : "In Catalunya, my choice of set-up at the start of the rally was hardly ideal and then Marcus hit problems. This time we both had a clean run. The Xsara and its BFGoodrich tyres were extremely competitive, the team was faultless and we were able to bring home a victory that was extremely important to us. In Corsica, in front of all our fans, on an event I love, which is the Rally de France ! In the short term, this is a valuable win as it gives me a lead of more than 10 points in the driver's championship. This means I have some breathing space, which is useful as the gravel rallies coming up will be extremely tough. Looking further ahead, this 23rd win takes me close to Carlos Sainz's record which is obviously a big thing for me... " The same will to win inspires Daniel Elena, who is now only one victory away from the record of co-driver wins held by Luis Moya.
Xevi Pons and Carlos Del Barrio were also at the forefront, but less often than their team mates. Some minor brake problems on Friday and a small `off' on Saturday did not entirely help the crew regain their confidence, which had taken a bit of a knock in Catalunya. " After two retirements, it was vital for me to finish the rally, " said the Spaniard. " Notwithstanding the fact that the potential of the Xsara on asphalt is capable of targeting some big points in the manufacturers' championship. When I realised that I would not be able to catch Alex [Bengue], I concentrated on the five points that I would definitely be able to score for the team... "
In Catalunya, Dani Sordo passed an important threshold with a podium after three rallies of learning his trade at the wheel of a World Rally Car. As a bonus, he even set a fastest time. In Corsica, the young Spaniard had to confirm his performance. Unflustered by an electronic problem that held him back on Friday morning, the reigning Junior World Champion rose perfectly to the challenge. By finishing third he secures another podium, having set two more fastest times. " Losing some time at the start of the rally gave us a certain advantage, as it meant that we needed to push hard from the beginning, " said Dani. " We enjoyed ourselves from start to finish, in a fantastic fight with Alex [Bengue] and then Mikko [Hirvonen]. Now it's back to school again on gravel. In Argentina, our goal will be to learn. "
For Marc Van Dalen and Jean-Pierre Mondron, the bosses of Kronos Racing, the dream continues. " To take three wins in three rallies is fantastic, " said Marc. "To have three cars in the top six is also means a lot to us, as it underlines the quality of our team's work. Each one of our crews has performed faultlessly. Seb remains the king on asphalt, Dani confirmed what we all knew anyway and Xevi has brought us vital manufacturer points, which enables us to maintain the lead of the championship. It's been a perfect weekend ! "