WRC

Tour de Corse: Citroen JWRC preview

An opportunity to seize... The Tour of Corsica could well mark a decisive turning point in the 2005 Junior World Rally Championship. To understand the importance of the French round, a short summary of the situation is possibly...

An opportunity to seize...

The Tour of Corsica could well mark a decisive turning point in the 2005 Junior World Rally Championship. To understand the importance of the French round, a short summary of the situation is possibly necessary...

The JWRC innovated this year by introducing an eighth, non-European qualifying round, namely Rally México. Although the number of events in which registered competitors must compete is still seven, each driver had to nominate the rally they intended to 'miss' before the start of the season.

Team Kronos Racing team-mates Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo chose not to go to Mexico, while Conrad Rautenbach and the P. H. Sport team preferred to skip the Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, Kris and Dani's main championship rivals Guy Wilks and the outgoing champ Per-Gunnar Andersson decided not to include Corsica.

This means that Kris and Dani -- who have contested one event less compared with their direct rivals since Mexico -- will not only be able to draw level in Corsica but they will also have a chance to pull clear at the top of the provisional standings... To do that, and in the absence of Guy and 'Pigi', they will need to try and finish ahead of the other top JWRC runners with a view to scoring as many points as possible and reaching the final round in Catalunya in a strong position.

Dani Sordo, who currently tops the standings thanks to a score of three wins on both gravel (Sardinia, Finland) and asphalt (Germany), clearly has the most trump cards in his hand. The Spaniard competed in the Tour of Corsica in 2004, finishing 2nd in Group N, and recently demonstrated his taste for a fight by clinching the 2005 Spanish title. His record in his eight-round home series, currently the most competitive in Europe, is particularly eloquent: three 2nd places and five wins, including three on the trot after particularly closely-run scraps! The other plus point in his favour is the fact that his co-driver is none other than Marc Marti who boasts five previous Tour of Corsica starts, with four podium finishes to his name, including once on the highest step...

Much less familiar with asphalt, Kris Meeke has no intention of giving up without a fight. The young Ulsterman recently demonstrated his ability on sealed surfaces in Germany before giving a glimpse of his ability to adapt when he drove a World Rally Car on Wales Rally GB. Kris also took part in recce for the last two Tours of Corsica and intends to give Dani the sort of run for his money he gave him in the Deutschland Rally as well as doing all he can to take Citroën and the C2 Super 1600 to another one-two finish.

That is obviously also the hope of Citroën Sport's Customer Competition team which has prepared especially carefully for Corsica. "We spent four days testing for Corsica and Catalunya near Tarragona," says Technical Manager Alexis Avril. "Kris and Dani both drove two days each. The set-up we found for Corsica is a very good base. They have a chance to pull clear. They must absolutely put it to good use."

-citroen-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Kris Meeke , Marc Marti , Conrad Rautenbach , Per-Gunnar Andersson
Teams Citroën World Rally Team