CitroÃ«n survives gruelling day in Cyprus Rally After a cruel second leg for the competitors, the three perfectly reliable Xsaras of SÃ©bastien Loeb, Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz returned to Limassol for the overnight halt, lying respectively...
Citroën survives gruelling day in Cyprus Rally
After a cruel second leg for the competitors, the three perfectly reliable Xsaras of Sébastien Loeb, Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz returned to Limassol for the overnight halt, lying respectively in third, fourth and fifth position overall.
This remarkable result will still have to be confirmed in tomorrow's last six stages with 82 km of tests to be run in two identical loops. The Xsaras WRC and their rivals will have to fight through the Mount Olympus foothills under boiling temperatures.
Given today's attrition rate it is important to stay very cautious. Actually nine World Rally Cars had to retire today. The three Xsaras performed extremely well in avoiding all the traps despite they were competing on this terrain for the very first time.
The Citroën team experienced a problem-free day except on Colin's car. At the end of stage 10 (Galataria - Nata) located in a river bed, the Scot hit a rock "coming from nowhere". He firmly attached the damaged wishbone and succeeded in returning to the service on his due time.
The mechanics did a fantastic job within the allowed twenty minutes and his Xsara was again ready to go in a perfect condition.
""We must stay lucid", Guy Fréquelin commented tonight. "Talking about the pure performance of the car, we aren't where we would like to be. We're discovering this rally and it's more difficult as we expected. We knew this kind of twisty, slow and 'dirty' terrain wasn't our cup of tea, but we've improved a lot. Our rivals experienced reliability problems which for the time being we haven't. I keep my fingers crossed !"
With his great third place, Sébastien Loeb was very satisfied :"We still have some work to do but I feel a bit frustrated as I have to follow the tracks of the previous cars to be competitive. I simply hope I could maintain this good result until the podium."
"I'm reasonably happy after the problem we had", Colin McRae said. "We are lucky to be here, and now we just have to reach the finish."
"After such a tough day how can we not happy", added Carlos Sainz. "Thanks to the Xsara's reliability, we are now standing in an ideal position to score valuable points for both Championships. We just have to make no mistakes and we'll do our best."