Day 2: Dani Sordo and the C4 WRC home in on the points The second day of the 2008 Swedish Rally saw Dani Sordo/Marc MartÃ and their CitroÃ«n C4 WRC produce a spectacular comeback from overnight 18th to 7th overall this evening which, as things...
Day 2: Dani Sordo and the C4 WRC home in on the points
The second day of the 2008 Swedish Rally saw Dani Sordo/Marc Martí and their Citroën C4 WRC produce a spectacular comeback from overnight 18th to 7th overall this evening which, as things stand, is worth four Manufacturers' points for Citroën. The second C4 WRC posted two fastest times today in the hands of Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena but the Citroën Total pair was later sidelined by an engine problem which stemmed from their off on the opening leg.
The second day's stages were based in the Hagfors region and were more familiar territory for the crews than yesterday's tests. The scheduled 121km of against-the-clock action which included two visits to 'Colin's Crest' (SS11/14), the jump named after the late Colin McRae were divided into two loops of three stages to be covered twice each. However, the decision was taken by the organisers to cancel SS12 when the surface cut up badly during the first pass.
The temperature (6°C) was far from wintry and the initial thin coating of ice that covered the gravel tracks soon disappeared once the first few cars had been through, bringing loose dirt to the surface. As a result, the Pirelli tyres weren't in a position to give their best because the studs weren't able to bite properly into the ground. "The conditions don't get any worse than this in Sweden," reflected Dani Sordo. "The grip kept changing all the time and there was no way of knowing whether the next corner would be icy or just dirt. And there are no snow-walls to keep you on the stage either! You've got to be on your toes all the time."
Citroën's two crews were in top form over the morning's tests, claiming the fastest time on all three to reveal the C4's potential in the challenging conditions.
"I was more familiar with today's stages than those programmed yesterday and I found a good pace at once," continued Dani. "My driving on these slippery stages is getting better all the time and I was pleased with my run today. My C4 WRC coped very well with the rougher portions, too, and I hope I can improve my position further still to score extra points for Citroën."
Having re-started this morning under the SupeRally ruling following their mistake on Friday, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena got off to a first class start. "In the sort of situation we were in, it's never easy to know what tactic to adopt," related Seb. "We tried to push hard to stay concentrated and everything went well up to the service halt, but we decided not to go any further because our engine had suffered too much in our off on SS4."
"It's been a positive day," commented Olivier Quesnel. "Our two crews came through the pitfalls unscathed and the Citroën C4 WRC was quick. The mission of Dani and Marc was to try to improve on their overnight position and they achieved their objective to the letter since they gained 11 places. There are still 97km of stages to come on Sunday and perhaps they will be able to move even further up the order. The engine of Seb and Daniel started to show signs of weakness no doubt as a result of their off yesterday and we preferred to stop them."