SÃ©bastien Loeb and Daniel Elena walked in Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti's steps by winning the Rally of Turkey as their team mates did last year. The young Frenchman and his Monaco-born co-driver claimed a fantastic first real win on gravel after...
Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena walked in Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti's steps by winning the Rally of Turkey as their team mates did last year. The young Frenchman and his Monaco-born co-driver claimed a fantastic first real win on gravel after their victories on asphalt and on snow this season. With this eighth success of his career in the FIA World Rally Championship, Sébastien controls his position as leader of the Drivers competition.
The Xsara WRC has also set the tenth win of its history in world rallying. This excellent result combined with the valuable fourth place of Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti allows Citroën to increase its lead in the Manufacturers Championship after the Mediterranean trilogy.
The performance of the Versailles Satory-based team will stay in everybody's mind also because of its dramatic finish. As Seb and Daniel cleared the final stage, they experienced a thrilling road section towards Kemer service park. "In the last stage, I found that the car was bouncing a bit" explained today's hero. "Then the rear right wheel blocked and we decided to take it off to make sure we reached Kemer". The Xsara made its entrance on three wheels at the final service under a huge round of applause. The problem was quickly solved and the car drove onto the podium for the final protocol.
In addition to this thrilling finale, Carlos Sainz' braveness should be highlighted. Since Saturday, he suffered from enormous sun stroke. The medical staff even hesitated to let him drive again, but for "Carlos- who -never -gives -up" this was simply out of the question. He started again. It is only when he stopped for the overnight halt that he admitted to team boss Guy Fréquelin : "At some points, I thought I couldn't do it !"
Guy Fréquelin congratuled the team's performance. "The Xsaras' set-up was very good from the start. The cars were perfect, the Michelin tyres too and the drivers felt extremely confident to attack. I am also very satisfied with our tyre choices especially when we chose the soft compound in the mud for the first stages on Friday. We knew Sébastien was able to be the fastest on gravel, and I am not surprised he's demonstrated that. I'm very happy for him and Daniel. Carlos has once again showed what a unique Champion he is. Tonight I'm very proud of my team !"