Sebastien Ogier completes a Citroen quartet Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and Kimi Raikkonen/Kaj Lindstrom have all accumulated valuable asphalt experience and made progress up the leaderboard on the second day of the Rally Bulgaria. The ...
Sebastien Ogier completes a Citroen quartet
Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and Kimi Raikkonen/Kaj Lindstrom have all accumulated valuable asphalt experience and made progress up the leaderboard on the second day of the Rally Bulgaria.
The French crew has rejoined the leading quartet, while the two Finns still have a chance of scoring some points.
The first day of the Bulgaria Rally turned out to be a long one for the Citroen Junior Team. After Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom went off the road on SS4 the number eight Citroen C4 WRC eventually made it back to the service park at 21:23. Eight mechanics the maximum number permitted under the current rules then set to work so that the 2007 Formula One World Champion would be able to re- start the rally on Saturday. The job was wrapped up within the 2h45min allowed by the rules and the car finally went into parc ferme at 23:55. After a short night with first service scheduled for 06:15 both cars were able to start the second day.
"The entire team did a great job," pointed out Kimi Raikkonen. "This morning my Citroen C4 WRC was as good as new and we were able to drive at our usual speed in order to accumulate all the kilometres that we need to make progress."
Faced with uncertain weather conditions at the start of the day, the Citroen Junior Team chose to fit soft- compound Pirelli PZero tyres. "That was the best option," said team manager Benoit Nogier. "We were able to rely on the information from the weather forecast, our safety crews and the data collected during testing to make the right decision."
As Sebastien Ogier pointed out: "We made a better tyre choice than our rivals. From the first split times we adjusted our pace in order not to take too many risks, while at the same time ensuring that we would reclaim fourth place from the Ford drivers as soon as we could."
The Frenchman was back up to fourth after SS5 and hung onto his position for the rest of the day. "There was not a huge amount more to be gained in the overall classification," he added. "We just remained concentrated on driving our own rally while making use of every kilometre to make as much progress as we could. Our goal will be exactly the same tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen also climbed up the leaderboard to reach 14th overnight. "On the last two stages I pushed a bit more on soft tyres," said Raikkonen. "Tomorrow we'll try to get back into the top 10 even though I think we're a bit far off still. It's going to be interesting, whatever happens!"
Benoit Nogier concluded: "It's been a long day that started off with SupeRally for Kimi. We first had to put the car back to perfect working order and I'd like to thank the entire team for an excellent job. From a sporting point of view we made some good tyre choices thanks to our solid preparations before coming out here. It's great to see that we are making the most of all the work we have done in the past. Sebastien needs to carry on just as he has been doing, while keeping one eye on the future, while Kimi has a bit of a challenge on his hands to make it into the points. To be honest it will be tricky, but he is feeling more and more comfortable with the car."