The Citroen pack triumphs in Spain After the shouts of joy that could be heard emanating from the Citroen Sport camp yesterday evening in the service park to hail the win of the French rugby squad over the All Blacks, there were further cheers...
The Citroen pack triumphs in Spain
After the shouts of joy that could be heard emanating from the Citroen Sport camp yesterday evening in the service park to hail the win of the French rugby squad over the All Blacks, there were further cheers today to celebrate the Citroen C4 WRC's one-two result on this weekend's 2007 Rally Catalunya, with Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena winning ahead of their team-mates Dani Sordo/Marc Marti.
The third leg of the event featured a loop of two stages to be covered twice. However, with a total competitive distance of 85.66km, the day was no jaunt and was packed with potential hazards that could by no means be taken lightly. Despite the respective leads of Seb (43.6s) and Dani (30.7s) over their closest chaser yesterday evening, both Citroen crews took the final day of the season's twelfth round extremely seriously.
"We continued at the same pace as yesterday," explains Sebastien Loeb. "Today's stages were 16 and 26km, so they were quite long and it was crucial to stay concentrated. I made a point of not taking any risks, not cutting the corners too much and lifting over the dirtier portions. Running on hard compound dry weather BFGoodrich tyres, our Citroen C4 WRC ran like clockwork and I am very happy to have won."
As sunny weather moved in over the Costa Daurada region, the day was a resounding success for Spain's Dani Sordo/Marc Marti, too. "Having to manage our position isn't the most exciting or easiest of tasks" related Dani. "Even so, we still had fun today again. We have finished ahead of Gronholm and I am delighted to have met the target we were set..."
Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena posted five fastest times on their way to securing their 34th world class win. "The most important thing for me," says Seb, "was to make up some of the gap that separates us from Gronholm in the championship. Despite the constantly changing grip and the fickle weather on Friday, we ended up winning. On top of that, Dani Sordo put in a great run to finish just behind us, which means we go away with four more points than Marcus. Our C4 WRC was once again extremely competitive on asphalt and that's encouraging for Corsica next weekend."
Dani Sordo was acclaimed by his home crowd and very much in demand throughout the weekend, so he was understandably beaming after this afternoon's podium ceremony. "We had quite a lot of pressure on our shoulders before the start," he admits. "Everyone was expecting us to score a strong result and we were very fired to do our best to finish ahead of Gronholm. We managed to achieve our goal and our C4 was awesomely competitive in all the different conditions we faced. I even led a World Rally Championship round for the first time! That's a great sign going into the next round which is once again on asphalt."
"We started the Rally Catalunya with the objective of finishing first and second, and that's what we've done. I'm obviously delighted," concludes Guy Frequelin. "The remarkable thing, however, is the way we achieved today's result. Once again, the C4 showed how strong it is on sealed surfaces and everyone at Citroen Sport put in a fantastic job. We came through all the potential pitfalls and made some top tyre choices which put both crews in an ideal position. Seb and Daniel dominated while Dani and Marc put in a superb run that was both fast and intelligent. We now need to repeat all this again next week in Corsica, but we are all fired up to do just that..."