A very tough Rally Poland for Citroën

Meeke 7th, Østberg 9th

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By Olivier Ferret

5 July 2015 - 17:19
A very tough Rally Poland for (...)

 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle secured seventh overall and Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson finished in ninth position at Rally Poland, ensuring that the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team holds onto second place in the manufacturers’ standings.
 In the WRC2 category, the DS 3 R5 driven by Karl Kruuda and Martin Jarveoja finished on the podium.
 The WRC heads to Finland for the next round on 30 July-2 August.

The final day of Rally Poland was something of a short sprint for the tape. Featuring just the one stage, contested two times, Kris Meeke set off in pursuit of Robert Kubica in an attempt to secure two extra points for the Drivers’ championship.

Quicker than his rival, he beat the Pole by 4.8 seconds on SS18 to close the gap to just 5.4 seconds ahead of the Power Stage. And after setting the fastest time on the final stage at that point, Kris then saw Robert Kubica pick up a puncture. He therefore gained another place.

After establishing a comfortable lead over Dani Sordo, Mads Østberg ended the rally in ninth overall with seventh-fastest and ninth-fastest times on today’s twice-run stage.

Competing in the WRC2 category, Karl Kruuda and Martin Jarveoja secured third place in their DS 3 R5. Among the top-three since Friday morning, the Estonian crew scored a significant result for the DS 3 R5 at the fastest event of the season.

In the FIA Junior WRC, the Italian Simone Tempestini celebrated his maiden win. In his DS 3 R3-MAX, he managed to turn his good early season form into a first victory. The podium was completed by Welshman Osian Pryce and the Finn Henri Haapamaki.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “We can’t be especially pleased with the actual result at this year’s Rally Poland. Perhaps we underestimated the impact that not organising specific, pre-event testing would have on this rally. Kris was able to up the pace as the rally progressed, although he didn’t feel fully confident after he went off during the shakedown. Mads spent a large part of the rally in second position on the road. From Saturday, he was able to hold his place to score some points for the championship. We’ll now focus on preparing for Rally Finland, an event where our drivers have already shown that they are capable of producing good performances. We’ll head for Jyvaskyla to try and fight for a good result!”

Kris Meeke: “It was important to acquire experience by completing all of the stages. After going off on Thursday, it became difficult to match the pace of the leaders. We’re going to make use of what we have learned this weekend to keep improving. I’m really looking forward to Finland. Last year, we were fast, so that augurs well for the next round.”

Mads Østberg: “It was a very tough rally, but both cars managed to finish in the top 10. The result helped us to score some points for the manufacturers’ championship. We’re now going to concentrate on our preparations for Finland.”

HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED

SS18 – Baranowo 1 (14.60km) – Sébastien Ogier began the final day with a stage win. Kris Meeke finished sixth fastest to take a large chunk out of Robert Kubica’s lead in seventh. The gap between the two drivers dropped to 5.4 seconds. Mads Østberg set the seventh fastest time.

SS19 – Baranowo 2 (14.60km) – Kris Meeke moved up a place in the overall standings in setting the fourth-fastest time. Robert Kubica picked up a puncture and was therefore unable to hold off the Ulsterman. Overall rally winner in Mikolajki, Sébastien Ogier rounded off his weekend by winning the Power Stage, ahead of Ott Tanak and Andreas Mikkelsen.

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