Loeb & Sainz, Citroen's pair of aces! Both Citroen crews enjoyed an incident-free run during the long second leg of the 2005 Rally of Turkey. Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena continue to top the leaderboard and returned to the Kemer parc ferme...
Loeb & Sainz, Citroen's pair of aces!
Both Citroen crews enjoyed an incident-free run during the long second leg of the 2005 Rally of Turkey. Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena continue to top the leaderboard and returned to the Kemer parc ferme this evening with a cushion of 1m 16s over Petter Solberg. Carlos Sainz and Marc Marti have moved up one place to figure in an excellent 4th place tonight.
The second day kicked off with two identical groups of stages comprising 'Kemer' and 'Silyon', the first of which was organised in the opposite direction to 2004. "Both stages were very slippery first time through, although for different reasons", explained Sebastien Loeb. "'Kemer' was damp, almost muddy, while 'Silyon' was totally dry and therefore dusty. I didn't drive very well in 'Kemer'. I was on the defensive and that doesn't suit me. I tend to make mistakes when I take it steadily..."
"Given the gaps," explained Carlos Sainz, "we decided to change the set-up a little bit without losing sight of our objective which is to reach the finish and score Manufacturers' points."
The air was heavy in the service park beside Kemer harbour as clouds began to form over the nearby peaks as crews set off for the second loop. "There was a chance it might rain," continued Sebastien, "so we opted for a 'safe' tyre choice. As it turned out, we only came across rain on the road section between the two stages. As a result, we had re-cut our tyres too much for the conditions but that didn't have that much of an influence on our times..."
"I came across a bit of rain towards the end of SS12 and in SS13," related Carlos. "I tried a modified set-up but now I've finished with all that," quipped the Spaniard who is clearly in good form.
The day's final group of stages took in 'Chimera' -- which features a bizarre surface and a muddy downhill section -- before a second pass through 'Phaselis' which was run for the first time on Friday morning. The weather was again uncertain and the Citroen pair, who were running 8 minutes from each other on the road, went for different tyre choices: a medium compound for Carlos and a harder choice with a significantly re-cut tread pattern for his team-mate. "It was the right choice," said Seb, "although I don't think there was a big difference between the two."
The Frenchman was quickest through 'Phaselis' and again, as yesterday, through the super-special near Antalya. "Our job today was to control our lead, and that is always a little more delicate in changeable weather, but I don't think we did too badly," commented the reigning World Champion. "It's looking good..."
"The small modifications I asked for allowed me to re-familiarise myself with the Xsara," concluded Carlos. "In spite of the delicate conditions, I had a lot of fun today. I have to admit that I still derive just as much pleasure from driving..."