Citroen Racing press release
Points for Citroën and Loeb
Laying aside their personal interests, the Citroën Total World Rally Team crews drove a team race and finished Rally Australia in tenth and eleventh places in the overall classification. Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena’s and Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia’s performance helped their team to keep a good lead in the Manufacturers’ World Championship. Sébastien Loeb scored four points and still holds first place in the drivers’ ratings with three events to go till the end of the season.
The final leg of Rally Australia of around 100 kms began in warm sunlight. It included two passes through the long Rally Plum Pudding stage. The quick, narrow route lined with big tress in the forests north east of Coffs Harbour provided a new challenge for the drivers.
Like the previous day, Sébastien Ogier and Sébastien Loeb did not take any risks as their main aim was to finish and score the maximum number of points in the Manufacturers’ World Championship. Nonetheless, Loeb found his marks in the Clarence stage and set the quickest time in the sector used at the end of the rally for the Power Stage.
At the end of the first loop, Ogier was in tenth place overall with his team-mate twelfth. After a 30-minute halt in the Coffs Harbour service park, the crews restarted to cover the same 3-stage loop.
Taking into account the perfect score by their rivals in the context of the two world championships and in order to maximize the chances of their best-placed driver in the Drivers’ World Championship, Citroën asked Sébastien Ogier to cede his position to Sébastien Loeb in the second-last stage. This decision had little bearing on the Manufacturers’ World Championship placing as the two Citroën Total World Rally Team crews scored the points for sixth and seventh positions.
Rally Australia finished with the Power Stage in which the first three are awarded bonus points. Loeb achieved his aim and set the fasted time adding three points to his tally. Thanks to the four he scored this weekend he still has a 15-point lead over Mikko Hirvonen before Rally France: “After our off on Friday we had to do everything to lose as few points as possible. In addition to finishing the rally to score points in the manufacturers’ title chase, I set myself a personal aim of winning the Power Stage,” said Seb. “Again I’d like to thank the technical team which enabled us to rejoin the race with a competitive DS3 WRC, which was the same case for my team-mate. We’ve managed to limit the damage and our aim is to get back on the winning trail in Alsace!”
In the Manufacturers’ World Championship the Citroën Total World Rally Team has a comfortable lead of 62 points.