A mixed day for Citroen Sport The second day of the Jordan Rally ended this evening on the shores of the Dead Sea with Dani Sordo/Marc Marti still in front with their Citroen C4 WRC. Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk are fifth with their Citroen C4 WRC...
A mixed day for Citroen Sport
The second day of the Jordan Rally ended this evening on the shores of the Dead Sea with Dani Sordo/Marc Marti still in front with their Citroen C4 WRC. Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk are fifth with their Citroen C4 WRC which is run by PH Sport with the support of technicians from Citroen Sport Technologies.
The menu of the second leg was very similar to that of Friday, with four stages to be contested twice each and a total competitive distance of 109.84km. The combination of rocky stages, high speeds and searing heat made it an extremely challenging day, but Citroen's domination in the difficult conditions was poorly rewarded.
The first class run of Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and their C4 WRC was halted by an incident that is rarely seen in the sport: "We decided to push hard this morning to try to move into the lead," explained Sebastien Loeb back at the service park by the Dead Sea. "Our Citroen C4 WRC was very competitive and I was feeling particularly comfortable." Indeed, a sequence of three consecutive fastest times took the defending World Champions to the top of the leaderboard and they were already beginning to pull clear of their chasers. Seb takes up the story again: "The road section between the end of SS11 and the start of the following test was very narrow and there were lots of places where we couldn't see much of the road. Coming out of one such corner, we were unable to avoid running into another competitor coming in the opposite direction. It really is an enormous shame: we were in a good position with regard to both championships, but this is only the fifth round of the season and such a lot that can still happen..."
"I think we've seen it all since the beginning of the year," reflected Olivier Quesnel. "Up to the end of SS11, everything was going so smoothly for us. We had both our two cars in first and second places, Sebastien had passed Dani and he was beginning to pull out a gap. He was totally in control of the situation... and then the accident happened. It's so hard to swallow and we went from a high to a big, big low in a matter of seconds. But that's motor sport; you've just got to accept it."
"There were many positive aspects to our day, too, though," continued the Citroen boss. "First of all, the C4 has once again shown that it is a very competitive and reliable car, and Dani and Marc went remarkably well today. They managed to shrug off the pressure from their rivals despite being first on the road this morning. They then dropped a few seconds with a puncture on SS13, but they are still on top tonight. For the final leg, there is still everything to play for, because our opponents seemed to hit problems at the end of the day's last stage, dropping 20 seconds. I hope that they manage to sort everything out so that the fight can continue, and that Dani and Marc will succeed in staying ahead of them tomorrow..."
"I always knew that being first on the road would be a handicap," concluded Dani Sordo. "But I think we succeeded in limiting the damage this morning. This afternoon got off to a poor start when we picked up a slow puncture which dropped us time. I kept up a good pace to stay ahead of our rivals. We recovered first place after the final stage when the others, strangely enough, hit problems. We will have to push hard tomorrow because we want to stay in front, and anything is still possible..."