A difficult start After Dani Sordo and his co-driver Marc Marti had dominated the previous JWRC round in Corsica, the target they had for the finale in Catalunya didn't seem insurmountable. A seventh place was - and is - enough for them in case...
A difficult start
After Dani Sordo and his co-driver Marc Marti had dominated the previous JWRC round in Corsica, the target they had for the finale in Catalunya didn't seem insurmountable. A seventh place was - and is - enough for them in case Guy Wilks, their rival for the title would win the rally.
The weekend didn't start the best way when Dani's engine broke down at shakedown : the alternator belt went off and damaged the cam belt. The Kronos team mechanics first tried to repair the engine but it was impossible. Engineers decided to replace it with a new one.
The FIA technicians were informed of the problem. At the end of the leg, the Stewards have decided to give a one minute penalty to the Spanish crew. They dropped two positions and lie in third.
Today, Dani and Marc adopted the same pace as Guy Wilks, and started a thrilling fight with the Brit. Leaders since the start of the rally the Spaniards won four of the six possible stages.
"I'm enjoying a lot driving on these beautiful stages, explained Carlos Sainz' protégé. "Everything went well today except for some minor brake problems. We didn't make any mistakes and it wasn't easy on these roads after the passage of the WRCs, especially in the inside of the corners." Marc Marti added : "It's true that we really have to be careful there especially because we aren't allowed any safety crews. What really pleased me is that the spectators are very disciplined and stand in the right places."
With Guy Wilks having to win the event to become champion, the Citroën Customer programme team was relying also on Kris Meeke and Glenn Patterson to help their team-mates. They couldn't do it. After they experienced a puncture on SS1 where they had to change the wheel, Kris and Glenn went off the road on SS2 after a miscalled pacenote. The car landed on the side of the road. It wasn't damaged but the crew couldn't make it move again and they had to retire from the leg. They will restart tomorrow morning.
Conrad Rautenbach wasn't more fortunate. Like Kris, the young Zimbabwe driver encountered a puncture on stage 1. Then, he damaged the front right wheel four kilometres from SS2 finish line. The Ph Sport team repaired the C2 and Conrad will restart tomorrow.