Citroën scores a double podium in the land of 1000 lakes
Rally Finland - Day two
The Citroën Total World Rally Team crews improved their positions on the second day of Rally
Finland. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia in their first race for the works team, finished in a magnificent second place a few seconds in front of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena. This double podium has helped the Citroën Total World Rally Team to increase its lead in the FIA
Manufacturers’ World Championship.
After a short night, the crews left the Jyväskylä service park in pouring rain. Around 100 kms from there, the stages of the first of the three loops were also soaking wet. Sébastien Ogier was on the pace straight away in the rally setting the fastest time in Kolonkulma (SS12). In Väärinmaja, the longest stage of the event, it was Sébastien Loeb’s turn to stun the onlookers. By setting the second-best time, Ogier took second place from Petter Solberg and got to within 15s of the leader, Jari-Matti Latvala! The latter fought back in the following stage, but the C4 WRC drivers were more than pleased at the end of the first three stages.
“I’m trying to keep up the pace while leaving myself a small safety margin. My aim’s not to go after Jari- Matti, but to see the finish in the best possible position,” underlined Ogier. As for Loeb he had third place in his sights: “The gaps between Sébastien, Jari-Matti and me are fairly small this morning. On the other hand, Petter Solberg has lost time and I’m only a few seconds behind him. We’re going to continue to push to overtake him.”
The six-time world champion achieved his objective with two more fastest times in Leustu 1 and Himos 1 (SS15 and 16). Ogier was also setting a searing pace and he closed the gap to Latvala. After posting the fastest time in SS17 (Surkee 2), the Frenchman reduced the Finn’s lead to only 10 seconds!
The rally ended with a second passage through the Leustu and Himos stages. Ogier kept up the pressure on Latvala right till the end: “Even if it’s difficult for me to be satisfied with second place, I have to say that this result is even better than I expected. For our second Rally Finland, we were able to up the pace without overdoing it. I’m very satisfied with the second day as we’ve finished only ten seconds behind the winner. I’d really like to thank the whole team, which helped to fight right up till the finish.”
Loeb, who came home third, was also satisfied: “Bravo to Jari-Matti and Sébastien who drove great rallies. It’s good for the sport that the team didn’t give any orders at the end of the race. The fifteen points I scored today are a precious help in view of the championship. I’ve achieved my aim in this rally.”
“With our crews finishing in second and third places, we’ve increased our lead of eight points in the Manufacturers’ Championship,” summed up Olivier Quesnel, the Citroën Racing Team Principal. “Citroën loves the sport and again we chose not to ask our drivers to reverse their positions. Bravo to the two Sebs as they knew how to drive very quickly without making any mistakes.”
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