Loeb and Elena: the 2007 World Champions* Finishing the 2007 Wales Rally GB in third place sufficed for Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena to secure their fourth straight Drivers' and Co-drivers' titles in the World Rally Championship today in ...
Loeb and Elena: the 2007 World Champions*
Finishing the 2007 Wales Rally GB in third place sufficed for Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena to secure their fourth straight Drivers' and Co-drivers' titles in the World Rally Championship today in Cardiff. At the wheel of Citroen Total's other Citroen C4 WRC, Dani Sordo/Marc Marti completed the final round of the 2007 championship in fifth place.
Driven by strong winds, the rain fell practically horizontally this morning as crews set off for the third and final leg of the weekend which featured two attempts at the notorious Brechfa and Trawscoed stages. The season's last day of competitive action totalled 114.26km which were by no means a mere formality.
"With the final, decisive round of the championship taking place in Wales, we just knew the weather conditions wouldn't be easy... and they weren't," smiled Guy Frequelin whose face expressed a blend of relief, joy and pride. "Sebastien and Daniel tackled today's stages in the same way they approached all the others and met their objective to the latter. As a result, they are the World Champions with Citroen for the fourth year in a row! True, the cards were stacked in our favour before the start but it was impossible to feel totally serene. There was so much that could happen. The team found me more anxious than ever, which shows just how much I feared this weekend's event! This title fills me with immense joy. It's a fitting reward not only for the talent of Sebastien and Daniel but also for the amazing motivation that spurred everyone on at Citroen Sport throughout this year's campaign. Returning to the competitive arena after a year's away to win the Drivers' title with the brand new Citroen C4 WRC is extremely satisfying."
"Its just fantastic! Finishing third today after such a frustrating rally means we are the World Champions for the third year running," beamed Sebastien, visibly delighted as he stepped off the podium. "The challenge we faced before the start was not as simple as all that. We have been fighting to make it back to the top of the championship ever since the day we went off in Sardinia but we always believed we would succeed. The combination of the Citroen C4's potential on all the different types of surface that make up the championship and the excellent work put in by everyone at Citroen Sport kept us in the chase and it's really great to have pulled it off today! Of my four titles, this was without doubt the most hotly contested. To have succeeded after such a fierce fight with Marcus Gronholm on stages across the world gives it a very special flavour. I know Marcus would have liked to have ended his retirement year by taking the crown, but I'm only half sorry he didn't! On the other hand, I am glad to have clinched the title on Guy Frequelin's last rally as the boss of Citroen Sport."
Dani Sordo and Marc Marti completed the punishing event in fifth place but their first thoughts after the finish were to congratulate their team-mates on their title and also everyone in the team for the hard work they have put in since the beginning of the year. "I am so happy for Seb and Daniel," confessed Dani. "I am happy and proud to have been shared this season alongside the new World Champions. I couldn't have wished for better teachers or team-mates!"
Gilles Michel, Executive Vice President of Automobiles Citroen, was in Wales to congratulate the entire team: "By winning the w orld title, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena mirror what Citroen wishes to say about itself, that is to say a combination of genuine talent, remarkable commitment and simplicity. The team they form and the way they set about securing their fourth title does honour to the Citroen brand."