Loeb still leading in Spain After the second leg of Rallye Catalunya, CitroÃ«n team mates SÃ©bastien Loeb and Daniel Elena still lead the Spanish event, the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship. Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti ...
Loeb still leading in Spain
After the second leg of Rallye Catalunya, Citroën team mates Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena still lead the Spanish event, the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship. Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti experienced a tougher day and lie fourth tonight. Colin McRae and Derek Ringer maintained their seventh position and Philippe Bugalski and Jean Paul Chiaroni are ninth.
Today's leg comprised eight special stages covering 131 competitive kilometres. Weather conditions stayed dry and rather cold despite the sun. Sébastien Loeb handled the five first stages without any problems. Despite a loss of efficiency in his brakes during the last loop, he posted the fastest time on the final stage. "As I need to keep my closest competitors at bay, I really have to attack without taking too many risks. I was expecting a difficult fight and I've got one."
The day did not start the best way for Carlos Sainz. As he had noticed slight understeering problems last night, the Madrid-based-driver changed his Xsara's set-up this morning to a softer suspension. However this did not match his expectations and he lost precious seconds on the first group of stages.
"I made some changes at the first service this morning which didn't suit my driving. I decided to return to my first day set-up. The day was tough but the fight is a long way from being over." With the threat of François Duval behind him, Carlos will relive his Corsican duel with the young Belgian.
Colin McRae suffered from brakes problems on the first two stages of the day. At the following service engineers worked on the car to solve them. The Scot felt more confident with his Xsara on the next tests.
Philippe Bugalski was unable to start his Xsara at the parc fermé very early this morning. The French team-mates calmly followed the procedure permitted in these situations and changed the spark plugs. They reached the service park at Vic on time.
Team boss Guy Fréquelin said : "It was a difficult day. But tomorrow will be tense as I understand the weather forecast is uncertain, with some risks of rain in the morning. "