The game is still on After a first and difficult leg, the Xsaras of Carlos Sainz - Marc Marti and Colin McRae - Derek Ringer returned tonight to Lamia's service park lying fourth and seventh respectively. The two CitroÃ«ns stand in a ...
The game is still on
After a first and difficult leg, the Xsaras of Carlos Sainz - Marc Marti and Colin McRae - Derek Ringer returned tonight to Lamia's service park lying fourth and seventh respectively. The two Citroëns stand in a good position to score points even after they experienced a tough day.
The Versailles - Satory based team did not begin the rally in the best way. Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were forced to retire with a broken engine only eleven kilometre from the start of the first stage. About ten minutes later, at the time control before stage 2, Colin McRae encountered some problems to re-start his car. Eventually he succeeded but was delayed by five minutes and was therefore given a 50 seconds penalty bringing him down to the seventeenth position.
But as wished by Citroën Sport , the day turned into a better one after the second service when the Xsara proved to be matching the leaders performances.
Carlos and Colin did not benefit from "clean" roads due to their starting order: driving in third and fourth position they had to act as sweepers for those following them, as often on this surface.
But today Carlos Sainz recorded a loss of performance at the end of each stage. Fighting with the leaders in the first part of the stages, he lost some time in the last kilometres all day long."I have no problems which could explain the phenomenon", said Carlos at the final service."We are carefully analysing all the data, and I am confident for tomorrow".
Colin McRae was slowed down by a defective damper (SS3) and then by his engine persistently cutting out on SS6 and 7."I have a good feeling with the car and the terrain", explained the five times Acropolis winner showing no loss of motivation after the morning penalty."The day could have been better but I think we have achieved some positive results. I hope we will keep on our recovery tomorrow"
"We have to understand" concluded team boss Guy Fréquelin."Today I've watched our drivers in the stages and I know they gave 100%. The car has a good behaviour but the results aren't there. The Acropolis rally is a long and difficult event, and nothing is over until we reach the finish. We are working to find what's wrong and I hope we can play our part tomorrow !"
Telefónica Movistar, Michelin, Magneti-Marelli, Kinetic, OZ, AIS and Citroën Financement are the partners of Team Citroën Total in the World Rally Championship