A deserved podium finish for Sordo/Marti and Citroen in Jordan The finish ceremony of the first Jordan Rally to count for the World Rally Championship (Round 5) was held near Amman, close to the Dead Sea. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti steered their C4...
A deserved podium finish for Sordo/Marti and Citroen in Jordan
The finish ceremony of the first Jordan Rally to count for the World Rally Championship (Round 5) was held near Amman, close to the Dead Sea. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti steered their C4 WRC to second place overall which earns Citroen eight valuable points. Following their misadventure on Saturday, Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Loeb rejoined under the SupeRally ruling and used the day as a full-scale test which brought Citroen a further Manufacturers' point.
Prior to this morning's restart, a mere 11 seconds covered the provisional top-three which included Dani Sordo, and any one of this trio could have hoped for victory. The fight promised to be extremely close, especially since the final leg was the longest of the rally, with 134.24km of competitive action divided into three stages to be contested twice each. The highlight of the day was the 41.45km Jordan River test.
The early part of the day also brought a surprise in the form of wind and even a little refreshing rain before the sun and searing heat returned. Running first on the road, Dani Sordo/Marc Marti had decided they would give it everything they could to defend their lead despite the 'road-sweeping' that awaited them. "I was fully aware this morning that the cards weren't stacked in our favour," acknowledged the young Spaniard, "but I tried to put that to the back of my mind and push as hard as possible. That paid because we were only 7.7 seconds off the lead after the first loop, and there was still everything to play for second time round."
Dani and Marc left the lunchtime service park intent on giving it their very best shot this afternoon. "I did all I could to recover the lead but it wasn't enough," reported Dani. "Even so, I am pleased with our performance this weekend. We led on two occasions and I was delighted with my feeling at the wheel of the Citroen C4 WRC from start to finish. The rally was quite stressful but it was also beneficial for me. I'm sure the experience will come in useful on the forthcoming events."
"What a rally," exclaimed Olivier Quesnel! "I don't think we will forget the inaugural Jordan Rally in a hurry; a real emotional roller-coaster. Dani and Marc did all they could to win today and only narrowly failed. We can leave here with our heads held high. True, our rivals go away with more points than us but the competitiveness of the C4 WRC and the superior performance of Sebastien Loeb are positive pointers for the rest of the season. I would also like to congratulate Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia on their second consecutive Junior win with their Citroen C2 S1600."
Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena profited from the SupeRally ruling to restart this morning after being hit by the car of another competitor on a road section yesterday. They used the last leg to do some test work. "lt was especially useful to see how our Pirelli Scorpion tyres stood up to the long stage," pointed out the reigning World Champion. "There was also a chance we score points for Citroen. We are now five points behind in the Drivers' standings but they won't be impossible to make up. There is still a long way to go this season and the way our C4 performed here was very encouraging."