Sordo and Raikkonen head to Lapland
Citroen duo look gain from pre-season rally
Citroen Racing Technologies will enter two C4 WRCs on the Arctic Lapland Rally from January 28-30. The cars will be entrusted to Dani Sordo/Marc Marti and Kimi Raikkonen/Kaj Lindstrom. Coming just two weeks before the Rally Sweden, round one of the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship, the Lapland event will provide a valuable testing opportunity for Citroen and two of the French team’s crews.
For many, Rovaniemi is best-known as the home of Father Christmas. But for rally fans, it means the host town of the Finnish Rally Championship’s opening round. As its name suggests, the Arctic Lapland Rally takes place around the Arctic Circle in the heart of chilly Lapland. At this time of year the sun rises at 10:00 only to set before 15:00, while temperatures can dip below -20°C.
Taking place only two weeks before the Rally Sweden (from 11-14 February) this weekend’s event will allow the two Citroen crews to increase their experience on ice and snow. For Dani Sordo and Marc Marti, this will be an excellent opportunity to get back into action after a three-month break.
“Time has been dragging a bit since the end of October so I’m really looking forward to starting a rally again,” said Sordo. “Up to now I have only taken part in five events on ice and snow. By racking up a few more kilometres on this specialised surface before Sweden, I’ll be able to increase my experience in these conditions. I love driving on ice, but I feel that I still need to step up a gear in order to challenge the top drivers on snow events. There is only one winter rally on the WRC calendar this year, and I intend to be as well prepared for it as possible.”
Raikkonen will have plenty of new things to discover on his first competitive outing with Citroen. “I got to know the C4 a little bit during a test session close to the Citroen Racing workshops,” reported the Finn. “This rally is a very good opportunity for me to work with the team in competitive conditions and continue my learning curve with the car. I took part in this rally last year with Kaj and as the route is largely the same I think that could help us a bit.”
“This experience will be as useful to the team as it will be to the individual crews,” added Citroen Racing Technologies team manager Benoît Nogier. “Kimi will drive a C4 WRC in identical specification to the one that he will race over the rest of the season. Similarly, the crew of technicians in Rovaniemi will remain on his car for the remainder of the year.”
The Arctic Lapland Rally will run over two legs. The first one is on Friday 29 January between 12:00 and 20:53 while the second one takes place the following day between 08:00 and 18:43. The route takes in 12 challenging special stages, totalling 214 competitive kilometres.
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