Get back in the fight ! The Xsara of Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti was lying in first position overall only one stage before the end of the second leg of the Rally Argentina. The Spanish team - mates checked into the time control before the ...
Get back in the fight !
The Xsara of Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti was lying in first position overall only one stage before the end of the second leg of the Rally Argentina. The Spanish team - mates checked into the time control before the penultimate service a few seconds too early, and were given a one minute penalty which dropped them back to fourth place.
Furious but certainly not unmotivated, the Madrid based champion Carlos Sainz immediately attacked and set a fantastic second fastest time on today's final stage. He gained one position and returned to Carlos Paz tonight third overall, just over 23 seconds from Markko Märtin the new leader.
The day started with the cancellation of two stages (SS14 and SS15) for safety reasons due the massive volume of spectators, then continued with a one-hour delay at the start of stage 16. The race control decided to postpone the last two stages of the loop to the start of tomorrow's third leg. Five special stages will be run instead of the three originally planned. Having proven the competitiveness and reliability of the Xsara, and knowing how determined Carlos can be, we can be sure the Spaniard will try everything possible to catch first place. We can look forward to a good fight !
Sébastien Loeb has again showed extraordinary skills. He set some of the fastest times, but went off the road in the last stage of the day. "It wasn't the moment to back off. I felt confident with my pace notes and I attacked in spite of the intermittent heavy dust as we drove through the stage. At the end of a long straight, I was expecting a right hand corner at 120 km/ph. When I realised it was there through a real barrier of thick dust, I jumped on the brakes then took the handbrake. We slid off the road and hit a bank with the front left of the car."
"We can't change what's happened today, declared team boss Guy Fréquelin with a sigh. "We could talk about Carlos and Marc's mistake for hours but it wouldn't change where we are tonight. Tomorrow is another day.
I am also disappointed for Sébastien and Daniel. First of all because their performance should have been rewarded with a better ending, but also because their retirement leaves us with only one car in a position to score points for the manufacturer's championship. We will fight until the end for the best result."
Telefónica Movistar, Michelin, Magneti-Marelli, Kinetic, OZ, AIS and Citroën Financement are the partners of Team Citroën Total in the World Rally Championship