The Citroën Junior Team aims to conquer the desert

Jordan Rally WRC preview

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By Franck Drui

26 March 2010 - 14:49
The Citroën Junior Team aims to (...)

After returning from Scandinavia and Central America, the Citroën Junior Team now heads to the Middle East for the Jordan Rally, round three of the 2010 World Rally Championship. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström will be at the wheel of the two Citroën C4 WRCs, and their objective will be to gain as much experience as possible on a distinctly unusual event.

On Rally Mexico the Citroën C4 WRCs had to compete at an altitude of 2800 metres: now they drop down to stages that are 400 metres below sea level – the lowest point in the world – on the Jordan Rally.

The rally, round three of this year’s World Championship, is based on the Red Sea coast and maintains the same general characteristics as it did in 2008, featuring a compact itinerary within a 75-kilometre radius of the service park.

The rally will take place over three legs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Just one stage is new (Rumman Forest) while three others are reversed (Wadi Shueib, Yakrut et Bahath) compared to last time. The surface, consisting of hard but flowing gravel, offers a good level of grip.

Sébastien Ogier took part in the Jordan Rally back in 2008 with a Citroën C2 Super 1600, winning the Junior WRC category. “The organisers have come up with a really nice route, which takes in fast and flowing stages,” he said. “The surface is hard and gives us good grip. All the landscape in the middle of the desert looks very similar, which is why having good pace notes becomes even more important than it is on other events. Myself and my co-driver Julien will certainly have to pay a lot of attention during the recce.”

Sébastien Ogier is third in the World Rally Championship standings with two rounds gone, having finished on the podium in Mexico. His objective in Jordan will be to maintain the same excellent results that he has achieved since the season started. “We knew that we could take nothing for granted and that we had to continue to work hard in order to make more progress,” he added. “Jordan is going to be a difficult rally as the characteristics of the stages are quite unusual. But we were able to get a good feeling with the car during some tests before heading off to the recce in Jordan. Our objectives remain the same. It’s important not to let anything go to my head and to continue gaining confidence.”

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