Leg 2: Loeb, Sordo and Citroen hold firm The persistent rain that marked Day 2 of the 2007 Rally Ireland didn't prevent Citroen Sport's crews from successfully defending their overnight one -two at the wheel of their respective C4 WRCs....
Leg 2: Loeb, Sordo and Citroen hold firm
The persistent rain that marked Day 2 of the 2007 Rally Ireland didn't prevent Citroen Sport's crews from successfully defending their overnight one -two at the wheel of their respective C4 WRCs. Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena continue to top the leaderboard ahead of team-mates Dani Sordo and Marc Marti in the second Citroen- Total car.
The format of the second leg of the championship's 15th round was more conventional and shorter than that of the previous day, with two loops of three stages to the east Sligo to contest twice for a total competitive distance of 104.74km.
Being shorter didn't make things any easier, however, and today's stages were just as complex and challenging as Friday's tests. In addition to being narrow and bumpy, they also featured another local speciality: rain. That said, the adverse weather didn't surprise Citroen Sport since it had been forecast by Meteo France Sports which is one of the team's technical partners this season.
After holding first and second places since SS2, Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti set off this morning intent on defending their positions.
"Today's stages were perhaps slightly wider in places," observed Sebastien Loeb. "However, all the puddles, running water and mud meant we still needed to take it very carefully. Having to cope with this sort of situation is not something I enjoy. Also, in conditions like this, it can be very complicated because the amount of grip changes all the time and it can be easy to make a mistake. I tried to push hard to stay concentrated but I lifted over the trickier, more difficult portions. I'm glad today's behind us. If we have a good run tomorrow, we could secure a good result in terms of the Drivers' title chase."
The Frenchman's analysis was echoed by Dani Sordo and Marc Marti. "Driving on such muddy, greasy roads isn't easy, especially when you don't know how much grip to expect when you brake," reported Dani. "I tried to base my pace on that of the driver behind us to keep the gap stable. I globally succeeded, with the exception of a small mistake on SS12. There are now four more stages to come and we will do all we can to leave Ireland with a good result."
"I am pleased with the performance of everyone in the team today," concluded Guy Frequelin. "We were in a good position in championship terms this morning and we still are this evening. Despite the extreme conditions, our BFGoodrich tyres worked well, both C4s were competitive and our two crews coped perfectly. They now need to do exactly the same again tomorrow..."