38th Catalunya Costa Brava Rally - Rally of Spain (22-24 March) 2nd Leg : Saturday 23rd of March A furious pursuit! In spite of today's bad start with the cancellation of the two first special stages (SS7 and SS8), both French CitroÃ«n crews,...
38th Catalunya Costa Brava Rally - Rally of Spain (22-24 March)
2nd Leg : Saturday 23rd of March
A furious pursuit!
In spite of today's bad start with the cancellation of the two first special stages (SS7 and SS8), both French Citroën crews, Philippe Bugalski - Jean Paul Chiaroni and Sébastien Loeb - Daniel Elena, attacked all day long in order to keep the pressure on the leaders, Gilles Panizzi and Richard Burns.
The sun continued to shine for this second day, when the rally got back to the historical territory of the Costa Brava, around Vic and Manlleu's service park.
As usual, thousands of spectators gathered in the three special stages, sometimes since last night. Unfortunately, some cars were badly parked along the stage roads and for safety reasons stages 7 and 8 were cancelled.
The morning loop was reduced to a single pass through SS9, Les Llosses-Alpens. As in Friday's last two stages, a Xsara set the second best time. Sébastien Loeb explained "I drove really fast and I am very happy with this. I preserved my tyres better as I did yesterday and they now show a completely normal wear".
Setting the fourth-fastest time, Philiipe Bugalski remarked : "I have attacked 100% right from the beginning, but then halfway through the stage, I tried to find the best compromise between an "aggressive" driving style and protecting the tyres ."
Fortunately, the second loop was run without any cancellations. As in the first stage, the Citroën drivers gave their best, and set most of the second and fourth best times, without however getting the reward of a win.
This is a target for tomorrow in the Reds' camp, as the Xsaras were checked by the mechanics at the final forty five minutes service.
"In comparison with the first leg, we are improving, analysed Guy Fréquelin, but with the modifications we are making tonight, we hope for even better tomorrow."
Total, Michelin, Magneti-Marelli, OZ, AIS and Citroën Financement are Citroën's partners in the World Rally Championship.
Sunday the 24th of March, third leg : 499,62 km including 106,26 km of special stages.
Start in Lloret de Mar at 6.15 am
Five special stages. Regrouping in Manlleu from 11.01 to 11.11.
Finish in Lloret de Mar at 17.15.