Leg 2 : Citroen, Loeb and Sordo... the leading trio Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and their Citroen C4 WRC profited from the second day of the 2007 Rally Catalunya to hold on to the lead they pulled out on Day 1, while Dani Sordo/Marc Marti follow...
Leg 2 : Citroen, Loeb and Sordo... the leading trio
Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and their Citroen C4 WRC profited from the second day of the 2007 Rally Catalunya to hold on to the lead they pulled out on Day 1, while Dani Sordo/Marc Marti follow in second place with the second Citroen Sport car.
The downpour that marked Friday's final stage to spice up the day's sport cleared overnight, leaving way for bright sunshine as the two Citroen C4 WRCs pulled out of the Port Aventura service park. The menu for the second leg of the 2007 championship's twelfth round took the form of a loop of four stages totalling 59.58km to be covered twice.
The two Citroen crews started the day with an advantage of 50.3s and 39.3s respectively over Marcus Gronholm (third) and both had every intention of holding their positions. The opening loop saw them achieve their objective to the letter...
"The morning's loop went well," said Sebastien Loeb. "The ground was still damp in places but we still had to keep up a fast pace, although we kept a bit of a safety margin. You have to drive quickly because it's the best way to stay concentrated, something which is never easy when you're leading by 50s." Indeed, after the first group of stages, Seb and Daniel enjoyed a cushion of 46.6s over Gronholm.
Their Spanish team-mates adopted the same tactics. "The stages were quite dirty in places," added Dani Sordo, "and I did my best to avoid taking any uncalled for risks in order to hold on to second place." Delighted to see so much enthusiastic support from his home fans, the young Spaniard fulfilled his mission, too, and kept his advantage over Gronholm at more than half a minute.
The second half of the day promised to very similar, with the exception of two additional parameters that needed to be dialled into the equation: a rise in ground temperature of 5C which necessitated a switch to hard compound B FGoodrich tyres, and dirtier conditions. Bearing this in mind, the two Citroen drivers continued at the same pace and ended the day in the same positions they held when setting off this morning.
"It's not always fun when you have to control from in front, but it's been a good day," commented Seb. "The gaps have remained pretty much the same and we had a completely trouble-free run with the C4 which performed perfectly. Tomorrow we will have to stay concentrated for the four stages still to come." Dani was in exactly the same frame of mind as his team-mate: "We could have gone quicker today but there was no reason to, but it was great to see so many fans out on the stages."
"Thanks to the first class job they did yesterday, and especially their excellent collective effort on SS6 which saw them go clear at the top, they put Citroen Sport in a strong position going in to Day 2 and were also under slightly less pressure today," observed Guy Frequelin. "Even so, they couldn't afford to take their eye off the ball and had to keep up a quick pace while making sure they stayed clear of all the potential pitfalls. Seb and Dani have maintained their leads over Marcus Gronholm and will need to do the same again tomorrow..."