Dani Sordo and the C4 WRC finish sixth in Sweden The second round of the 2008 World Rally Championship ended today in Sweden where Dani Sordo and Marc Marti succeeded in steering their Citroen C4 WRC to sixth place at the end of the three-day ...
Dani Sordo and the C4 WRC finish sixth in Sweden
The second round of the 2008 World Rally Championship ended today in Sweden where Dani Sordo and Marc Marti succeeded in steering their Citroen C4 WRC to sixth place at the end of the three-day event. Their performance earns four additional Manufacturers' points for Citroen.
Abnormally mild temperatures for this time of year in the Varmland saw all the snow melt, while the remaining thin layer of ice that covered the tracks of the event's traditional home region didn't stand up long to the repeated assault of the studded tyres. The surfaces soon became little more than a soft, muddy, icy soup which was extremely slippery. The Swedish Rally is frequently listed amongst the drivers' favourite rounds, but they found this year's visit quite pallid.
"It's not much fun competing in conditions like this. The stages were even more treacherous than usual," summed up Dani Sordo. "You just couldn't tell what the surface would be like through the next corner. On today's six scheduled tests, for example, there was more dirt than ice."
"Even so, I have to say I am pleased with our run," added the Spaniard. "Replacing our engine before the start meant we carried a five-minute penalty even before we drove off the start ramp! I consequently began by bedding myself in before gradually upping my pace. My pacenotes were better than last year and I felt increasingly confident. I was no doubt helped by the lack of real wintry conditions, but our car performed impeccably, too, and I managed to work my way up the leaderboard to finish sixth, which brings Citroen a few points. I also feel more comfortable in these slippery conditions and our Pirelli Sottozero tyres worked well despite the delicate task they faced. It was a good weekend, but I'm now very much looking forward to Mexico!"
"This result doesn't bring us many points, but we can still take away some positives," observed Olivier Quesnel. "To begin with, the Citroen C4 WRC was competitive and reliable, while the performance of Dani and Marc was a good omen for the rest of the season. Despite his limited experience here, Dani showed that he is capable of driving quickly in slippery conditions. I particularly appreciated the way he put his time penalty to the back of his mind and just got on with the job we expected of him. In Mexico and beyond, I hope he succeeds in putting in the same sort of display to earn even more points for Citroen. The off of Sebastien and Daniel on the first day showed that nothing can ever be taken for granted in motor sport, but I have every confidence in their ability, and that of everyone at Citroen Sport, to recover the situation very quickly."
"As for the Citroen Sport Technologies drivers," concluded Olivier Quesnel, "Conrad Rautenbach and David Senior continued to familiarise themselves with their Xsara WRC, while Urmo AAva and Kuldar Sikk targeted a gap of 1s/km compared with the front-runners for their debut outing with the Citroen C4 WRC. They finished 0.8s/km down, which is a very satisfactory and highly encouraging result."