Sunday, 25 January 2015

Rally - Final flourish

The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team had much to celebrate at the end of this year’s Monte Carlo Rally with three cars in the top ten. The podium may have eluded them but behind Mads Østberg’s 4th place Sebastien Loeb scored his 905th stage win on his way to 8th overall while Kris Meeke finished with a flourish winning the Power Stage and with it an extra 3 bonus WRC  points.

Had it not been for their trouble who knows how things might have turned out as Loeb set 5 fastest stage times, Meeke got 3 and Robert Kubica took the other four (one stage of the 15 was cancelled).

At the finish Mads Østberg said: “I’m very happy to reach fourth position. We were consistent and quick. Perhaps we might have hoped to do a little better, but fourth position is a good result. I’m now going to concentrate fully on Rally Sweden, which starts in less than two weeks.”

Sébastien Loeb: “When we set off on the first stage, it was as if Daniel and I had never been away! The first two legs were very difficult, but we had to push given we were fourteenth in the running order. The conditions didn’t really work in our favour and a minor mistake proved very costly. But that takes nothing away from the fun we had in the DS 3 WRC. It was a really great experience for Daniel, at home, and for me!”

Kris Meeke: “The aim was to try and score some points in the Power Stage in order to end the rally on a high. I managed the tyres on SS14. That undoubtedly helped me to keep a 0.2-second gap at the end of the last stage. I won a few stages and we were quick. So that’s a very pleasing point, because it means we clearly have the speed to compete.”

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal) added: “Seb and Daniel rose to the challenge with exceptional verve and determination. After 14 months away from the WRC, they showed they had lost none of their talent in finishing with the most stage wins. We showed that the 2015-spec DS 3 WRC was very competitive, winning 8 stages out of a total of 14. Kris fought hard right to the end and won the Power Stage and Mads was exemplary throughout the rally. I know he is already thinking about Rally Sweden!”

Leaderboard after 15 (of 15) stages:
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:36:40.2
2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +58.0
3. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2:12.3
4. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +2:43.6
5. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:12.1
6. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:12.6
7. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:23.7
8. Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena (DS 3 WRC) +8:34.7
9. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +9:54.8
10. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +10:55.6

And didn’t Craig Breen and Scott Martin do well, finishing second WRC2
13. Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Peugeot 208 R5) +10:55.6

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