Leg 2: Loeb and Citroen pull further clear The second leg of this year's Tour de Corse, round 13 of the 2007 World Rally Championship, saw Sebastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and their Citroen C4 WRC strengthen their command at the top of the...
Leg 2: Loeb and Citroen pull further clear
The second leg of this year's Tour de Corse, round 13 of the 2007 World Rally Championship, saw Sebastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and their Citroen C4 WRC strengthen their command at the top of the provisional standings. Team-mates Dani Sordo and Marc Marti reached this evening' service park in Ajaccio in third place in the second Citroen- Total car.
"You could say the first leg was a sort of transitional day," warned Guy Frequelin at breakfast this morning. "Yesterday's stages were very similar to those we saw in Catalonia, but today's are far more typical of Corsica." Indeed, the second day's loop of three stages totalling 61.47km to be contested twice each took place on roads more in keeping with the Mediterranean island event's tradition.
"Today's programme was always going to be difficult, with the often dirty Carbuccia stage followed by the narrow and bumpy Liamone test, and then Vico which we had to contest on tyres that had lost some of their shine on the first two stages," explained Sebastien Loeb at the lunchtime service halt. That, however, didn't prevent him from posting three fastest times from three to extend his advantage over Marcus Gronholm. "We've just passed the halfway point and our lead is now up to 12.6 seconds but I can't afford to drop my guard and I will continue to attack this afternoon."
The morning's run was less easy for Dani Sordo and Marc Marti. The Spaniard didn't have the ideal feeling and ended up losing ground despite his best attempts to focus on the task in hand. Back at service for the midday break, the Citroen Sport technical team made a few modifications to the gearbox and suspension settings of his C4 WRC.
That work clearly paid off since Dani immediately posted the fastest time on SS10, the first stage of the afternoon. "The changes we made at service gave me my confidence back," he related. "The gap with Marcus is now up to 33.1s but we will do what we can to make that up tomorrow, although it won't be simple if everyone has an incident-free run..."
The afternoon brought extra satisfaction to Sebastien Loeb who profited from SS10, 11 and 12 to ease further clear of his main rival, just as he has done since yesterday's SS4. Two further fastest times enabled him to return to Ajaccio this evening with a cushion of 27.5s which will probably enable him to go into the final day with a little less pressure on his shoulders.
"At the wheel of their Citroen C4 WRC, Sebastien and Daniel put in a perfect run today," concluded Guy Frequelin. "They managed to come through all the potential pitfalls unscathed and make full use of the potential of their car and BFGoodrich tyres to consolidate their position. We still need to be cautious, though. With 112km of competitive action still to come, tomorrow will be a long day and, as they have shown in the past, tomorrow's stages are extremely selective. Dani Sordo and Marc Marti had contrasting fortunes today. Tomorrow they will need to try to push as hard as possible to keep the pressure on Marcus..."