Loeb and Elena make the C4 WRC part of rallying legend

With victory in Spain


24 October 2010 - 19:22
Loeb and Elena make the C4 WRC part (…)

Three weeks after bagging the 2010 World Rally Championship titles*, Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and the Citroën Total World Rally Team again showed their superiority by winning Rally Spain.

Seb and Daniel led from start to finish scoring their 61st World Championship victory as well as making the C4 WRC part of rallying legend. This car has never been beaten on asphalt since its debut in 2007. Citroën scored its fifth triple of the season thanks to Petter Solberg / Chris Patterson and Dani Sordo / Diego Vallejo.

With a lead of over 40 seconds, Loeb tackled the third leg of Rally Spain full of confidence. On the other hand, second place was up for grabs as Petter Solberg and Dani Sordo were separated by only 16.9s.

Sordo was determined to take the fight to the Norwegian for second spot, and he started the day with the bit between his teeth setting the fastest time in El Priorat (42,04 km), which he followed up with another first place in the short Serra d’Almos (4,11 km) stage. These performances helped the Spaniard to reduce the gap to 10.8s.

“As Seb is way out in front, Petter and I are injecting a bit of excitement into the event,” laughed Sordo at the midday service halt. “We know that we’ll find it difficult to pull back much time on him in the long stage, as we can’t go flat out because we have to look after tyre wear. In the short stage, I went pedal to the metal from start to finish. We’ve pulled back six seconds in the two stages, which means that we’ll have problems taking second place unless outside circumstances intervene. We’re going to continue to keep up the pressure.”

Thanks to his comfortable lead, Loeb was able to drop a few seconds: “I’m driving to make it to the finish, and I adapt my pace according to the split times of my pursuers. Like the other drivers, I had to look after my tyres that were overheating in El Priorat.”

After a 30-minute service stop, the drivers set off again to tackle the same stages. Sordo kept up the pace and set another fastest time in El Priorat. Despite reducing the gap to 5.1s, the Spaniard did not manage to pass Petter Solberg in the last stage: “It was a great scrap. I’m a bit disappointed not to be able to help the Citroën Total World Rally Team to score another double, but it’s still a triple for the make. What I’ll remember about this rally is a couple of good days on asphalt, and I’d like to thank the crowd for its unflagging support.”

Loeb, who has been unbeaten on asphalt in the C4 WRC since 2007, was full of praise for his car : “It gives the heartstrings a little tug as this car has given us a lot of happy moments on all kinds of surfaces. Counting Monte Carlo, we’ve won the fifteen asphalt rallies run over the last four years. This weekend we didn’t have to do any calculations, so it was much easier than in the previous rallies.”

“What Sébastien and Daniel have done is really quite incredible,” underlined Frédéric Banzet, the Citroën Brand Manager. “Three weeks after the craziness of Rally France, they were able to keep up their motivation and performance level to score a victory full of panache. As Spain is Citroën’s second-biggest market, this win is very important for the marque. I’d like to congratulate the whole team, and say how much I admire their professionalism and their conscientiousness in a relaxed ambience after winning the two titles in Alsace.”



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