The Citroen Junior Team on the podium! Thanks to the points scored by Dani Sordo and Diego Vallejo, who were fifth at the end of the Rally Great Britain, and by Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom, who finished eighth, the Citroen Junior Team has...
The Citroen Junior Team on the podium!
Thanks to the points scored by Dani Sordo and Diego Vallejo, who were fifth at the end of the Rally Great Britain, and by Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom, who finished eighth, the Citroen Junior Team has claimed third in the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, which was won by the Citroen Total World Rally Team*.
The final day of the Rally Great Britain, which was made up of four special stages totalling 76.14 competitive kilometres, did not witness any dramatic changes to the leaderboard.
Dani Sordo and Diego Vallejo were fifth on the road today and hung onto their overall placing throughout the final leg of the rally, which took place between Cardiff and Swansea. The Spanish crew set two fifth-fastest times during the opening loop of stages but changed their car's set-up for the second run over the loop. Dani was third-quickest in Resolfen before going fastest of all in Margam Park. "We tried out a few new things," he said. "I preferred how the car was after we had done that as I felt more confident. Myself and Diego said to ourselves that we would push hard on the last stage to set the final fastest time of the season and that's exactly how it worked out!"
"It was a really difficult rally," added the Spanish driver. "The roads were very slippery with several changes in the levels of grip. I tried to keep up with the frontrunners but I lost a bit of time on the opening day. Afterwards I aimed to close the gap a bit but I always ended up fifth at the end of every stage."
"I wanted to do a bit better in order to finish the year on a real high, but it was hard to take any more risks on roads that were as slippery as these ones," added Dani. "There were so many traps that you could fall into everywhere."
Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom had a slightly more troubled start to the day because of an electronic problem in the gearshift command at the end of Margam Park 1 (SS18). Apart from this small setback, the Finn was able to continue making progress. "The stages are as difficult as ever," he said. "Even though the conditions are slightly better today, the roads are still extremely slippery."
By ending the rally in eighth position, Kimi racked up his fifth points finish of the year. "We were expecting this to be a tricky season," he said. "I made some mistakes but I also learned a lot this year and I had fun driving the Citroen C4 WRC. I would like to carry on: this is my preferred option for 2011."
Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: "We had no specific fixed objective at the start of the year. Our goal was to help Sebastien Ogier show his potential so that he could get a factory seat. We fulfilled that target over the course of the year and this remains our biggest satisfaction. The other objective was to allow Kimi Raikkonen to find out all about the World Rally Championship. He was able to learn at his own pace and I think that this first year has given him the desire to continue in the WRC. So once more, it was mission accomplished. Speaking generally, the team always did a good job in what was its third season of the World Rally Championship. Third place in the final rankings is a great reward for us. It shows the ability of our team to make the most of a reliable and competitive car. We've got a very good structure in place now, so we will be doing everything we can to continue this adventure in 2011."