Loeb in control, Sordo makes his comeback, Citroen takes advantage Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, who led at the end of the first day, continued their domination of Rally Spain. The Citroen Total World Rally Team crew set four fastest times...
Loeb in control, Sordo makes his comeback, Citroen takes advantage
Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, who led at the end of the first day, continued their domination of Rally Spain. The Citroen Total World Rally Team crew set four fastest times out of six on this leg, which was run entirely on asphalt. Dani Sordo and Diego Vallejo made a great comeback after a difficult first day, and are now lying third, only a few seconds behind the second-placed driver. After the first day run on gravel, the crews continued Rally Spain at the wheel of cars in asphalt setup.
The second day's programme consisted of two passages through a loop made up of stages that they all knew, as they were part of the 2009 rally.
Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were again first out on the road, which was now perfectly clean. They took full advantage of this and had a perfect morning. The seven-time world champions* set the three fastest times, and arrived back in the service park in Salou with a comfortable lead of 46 seconds over Petter Solberg. While the morning was a calm one for the crew of the no.1 C4 WRC, there were a few race incidents including Sebastien Ogier's slight off in SS9, which cost him second place. "It was a bit less difficult for us on asphalt," Loeb acknowledged at the midday service halt. "Dani Sordo and Sebastien Ogier were also pushing very hard. I think that Dani can get up into second place. Everything's going well for us, but it's not over yet. I could decide to lift off a little this afternoon, but I still feel like having some fun.
In the morning, Dani Sordo left the parc ferme in sixth place and had fought his way up to fourth after the first three specials : "I'm happy to be back among the front-runners. We had a good morning despite some sections that were already dirty after the passage of the leaders. I was behind the wheel of a car that it was a pleasure to drive. I don't think I could have gone much quicker!"
Dani continued the good work in the afternoon and set the fastest time in Santa Marina 2 (SS10), followed by the second-best in La Mussara 2, only 1/10s behind his team-mate, Loeb. This performance helped him to take third place in the overall classification.
Petter Solberg set the fastest time in the final stage ahead of the two Citroen Total World Rally Team drivers who had arrived back in the parc ferme after a very positive day. "It was perfect," Loeb smiled.
"We went pedal to the metal; we didn't make any mistakes, and we now have a good lead that means we can tackle the third day full of confidence. The final leg will be a real challenge with a 42-km stage to be covered twice."
"Today's result is obviously a lot more positive than yesterday's," laughed Sordo. "I was really at home in the car and I was able to push hard. We've now got second place lined up and we'll try and catch Petter Solberg. I think it's going to be a good scrap!
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.