A rocky road for Citroen in Greece Day 2 of the Acropolis Rally of Greece proved just as tough as the teams had feared. On the first special stage of the day, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were forced to retire after going off. Two stages...
A rocky road for Citroen in Greece
Day 2 of the Acropolis Rally of Greece proved just as tough as the teams had feared. On the first special stage of the day, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were forced to retire after going off. Two stages later, it was the turn of Dani Sordo and Marc Marti to get caught out. The Spanish pairing will restart tomorrow under the SupeRally ruling to try to score Manufacturers' points. After a first day on the Greek mainland, the Acropolis Rally continued today in the Peloppenese. The day's programme included two loops of three special stages, with a thirty minute service interval in Loutraki.
Running third, some 20 seconds behind the leaders, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were hoping to reduce the gap as they headed out to the Klenia Mycenae stage (SS7). But the five-time World Champions suffered an accident halfway through the test.
"We were on a very fast part of the stage, on a plateau," explained Sebastien. "There was a right-hand corner, that I perhaps took a little too quickly. I was off-line for the left-hander that followed and I hit a big rock at the apex. The front wheel was ripped off and it sent us into a series of barrel rolls. The car is too badly damaged for the team to repair it in time for the final day. In any case, the C4 WRC showed how tough a car it is because we don't have a single scratch on us after a pretty dramatic crash. Clearly, it's not a good result in terms of the championships because it will cost us a large portion of our points advantage. But whatever happens, we'll still be in the lead tomorrow evening, and that's the main thing."
Starting just three seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen, Dani Sordo and Marc Marti took a cautious approach at the start of the day. Basing their pace on that of the leaders, the crew of the No.2 C4 WRC was nevertheless caught out on Kefalari (SS9). "We broke a suspension arm on a rock. It happened four kilometres in, in a very slow right-hand corner. The rock was hidden in the grass and I hadn't seen it during the recce," explained Dani. "I'm really disappointed because everything was in place to take our first win in the World Championship. The team will repair the car so I can restart tomorrow under the SupeRally ruling. We can still score some useful points for Citroen in the Manufacturers' championship."
Citroen's best hopes are now Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, second in the overall standings. Evgeny Novikov/Dale Moscatt and Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt, the other crews in the Citroen Junior Team, are all still running.