At the end of the second leg of Rally New Zealand, Sebastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and their Xsara returned in fourth position to Auckland's Parc Ferme held at the foot of the Sky City Tower. Carlos Sainz lies tonight in 23rd position overall. The...
At the end of the second leg of Rally New Zealand, Sebastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and their Xsara returned in fourth position to Auckland's Parc Ferme held at the foot of the Sky City Tower.
Carlos Sainz lies tonight in 23rd position overall. The Spaniard, who boasts the most successful record of wins in New Zealand, lost a lot of time after he went off the road in SS10.
"For sure, I would have prefered a better birthday present than this" said Carlos with a smile at the final service. "But it's my fault. I knew I would be following Didier Auriol's dust. He warned me at the start of the stage knowing he had a problem on his car and that I would surely catch him up. It's true that sometimes I could not really see through but when I made the mistake; the visibility was fine. It's not Didier's fault.
On a jump the car went sideways and stopped in a ditch. I couldn't get out in reverse gear, so I had to go through a fence, drive in a field and went out further up ! Now we are continuing the rally to make some tests on the car and help Sebastien and the team."
Young Sebastien Loeb performed well today. Experiencing a problem free day, he drove well without making any mistakes and gained two positions overall. Sebastien estimated he could do even better. "I drove the 59 km long stage with an oversteering car, and wrong brake balance : too much weight on the rear lead to a loss of efficiency.
On the car's handling, we came back to yesterday's set-up and the car felt excellent to drive.
"I am really disappointed for Carlos" analysed Team boss Guy Frequelin. "The times he set even after this morning, and Sebastien's performance prove that we have worked in the right direction with the technical team. We are facing again the situation of a complete discovery. Testing would never exactly reflect the terrain, and so we continue to work and fine tune the car during the event itself. This is how we get some experience. It's not easy but when the results are encouraging like today, we can be satisfied. "
Telefonica Movistar, Michelin, Magneti-Marelli, Kinetic, OZ, AIS and Citroën Financement are the partners of Team Citroën-Total in the World Rally Championship.