2002 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 38th Catalunya Costa Brava Rally - Rally of Spain (22-24 March) 3rd Leg : Sunday 24th of March A Xsara on the podium. Today's third leg of the Catalunya Costa Brava Rally took the remaining competitors up in the...
2002 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
38th Catalunya Costa Brava Rally - Rally of Spain (22-24 March)
3rd Leg : Sunday 24th of March
A Xsara on the podium.
Today's third leg of the Catalunya Costa Brava Rally took the remaining competitors up in the Catalan mountains for the final six stages. As on the two previous legs, the Citroën team reflected upon a day of mixed fortune. In the country of the corrida, we would say : "sol y sombra".
On the "sunny" side, the superb position of Philippe Bugalski and Jean-Paul Chiaroni can be underlined. The French driver and his Corsican team-mate attacked relentlessly to try to catch up with 2001 World Rally Champion Richard Burns. The Citroën team did its best to give the Xsara WRC the little "something" which could have helped to come back on the leaders.
Their great work was rewarded with third place.
The race of Jesus Puras and Carlos del Barrio can also be recorded on the sunny side.
The Spanish crew clearly improved its performance during the rally and even set a fastest time in stage 14. The Xsara of Citroën España deserved this good mark after they handled their brake overheating problems which delayed them at the start of the event.
The retirement of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena can be placed on the "sombra" side, after they went off the road in stage 14. "We were at maximum attack, explained Sébastien. In a fast left bend in fourth gear, the fastest line was to cut the corner, but the sump guard touched the floor. At this moment, we slid on the gravel left there by the previous cars. We hit the bank on the right side, and went back on the stage in the reverse direction after we rolled."
Sébastien and Daniel finished the rally earlier as Thomas Rådström and Denis Giraudet had on the first day, after they damaged the right rear wheel of their Xsara.
"I was hoping for better and I am disappointed", frankly admitted Guy Fréquelin at the finish. "It is obvious that our competitors have improved a lot. But we have to be realistic : we have lost the balance and the stability which was the strength of our car. We will have to do our homework and find the reason why the car is less efficient. So let's find back a solid basis and get ready for the next asphalt rally. "
Total, Michelin, Magneti-Marelli, OZ, AIS and Citroën Financement are Citroën's partners in the World Rally Championship.