WRC

Rally Sardinia: Citroen final summary

Loeb and Citroën's third win of 2005! Thanks to the unfailing reliability of their respective Xsara WRCs, both Citroën crews enjoyed a trouble-free run in the weekend's third and final leg. Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena successfully built...

Loeb and Citroën's third win of 2005!

Thanks to the unfailing reliability of their respective Xsara WRCs, both Citroën crews enjoyed a trouble-free run in the weekend's third and final leg. Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena successfully built on the handsome lead they had pulled out by Saturday evening to secure their third win of 2005, while François Duval and Stéphane Prévot put Friday's misadventure behind them as they concentrated on scoring Manufacturers' points. Their bid was rewarded with two extra valuable championship points for Citroën.

The third day featured a total of 66.32 km of competitive action divided into two identical loops of three short stages made especially challenging by the extremely hot sunshine and by the fact that they were only split by a regroup, with no chance to return to the service park.

Prior to the start, Sébastien had said that he liked SS12 ('S. Giacomo') and he effectively succeeded in posting his fastest time of the rally on this stage. "There was no wind and, like everyone else, I was hampered by the fairly thick cloud of dust thrown up by the preceding cars. I therefore lifted each time I had to and pushed hard as soon as the conditions allowed. The car was perfect," said the reigning World Champion. "In the following stages, I was careful not to make any mistakes while keeping a close eye on the times of my closest chaser, Petter Solberg. Winning back to back in New Zealand and here in Sardinia has put us back in the lead of the championship and promises some exciting battles to come!"

"We have won two rallies in a row, both in a straight fight and both in events in which we were somewhat dominated last year," added a delighted Guy Fréquelin whose thoughts are already turned to the future: "Our win in New Zealand was a positive pointer for the fast gravel rallies to come, while our result here in Sardinia is also very promising since the heat and rough portions were a foretaste of what we are likely to come across in the next three rounds. Once again, the Xsara and our Michelin tyres formed a winning combination and Sébastien made the very most of their potential. My only regret is obviously the fact that we weren't able to capitalise on this in a more concrete manner in terms of the Manufacturers' championship. That said, I am pleased with the strong runs of the privately-entered Xsaras and I would also like to underline that, as in the Monte Carlo Rally, we scored a WRC-JWRC double this weekend..."

After their misadventure in Leg 1, the mission of François Duval and Stéphane Prévot was to score Manufacturers' points which dictated a safe pace that guaranteed their reaching the finish. Driving an entirely rebuilt car thanks to the outstanding job of the team's mechanics, François accomplished his mission, and it can't be taken away from him that prior to his accident on SS5 he had just posted a time equal to that of Sébastien and moved into 2nd position...

The privately-entered, Kronos Racing-run Xsaras both finished inside the top ten to the delight of their drivers. Juuso Pykälistö, 8th, scored the first Drivers' point of his career following a mature performance. Handicapped by a health problem before the start, Manfred Stohl had considered not even taking part. Despite a singe pass over the stages of Leg 2 in recce, he finished 10th overall after deciding to turn the event into full-scale test in preparation for Cyprus...

-citroen-

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Series WRC
Teams Citroën World Rally Team