Monday, 24 August 2015

Rally - WRC in Germany



A belated round-up from Rally Germany (summat came up over the weekend) where the Citroen team had another bag of mixed fortune. Mads Østberg could only manage 7th place while new recruit and ‘senior’ debutant, Stéphane Lefebvre, scored a top ten finish and one point.

Much praise was heaped on the youngster by the Citroen team: “Stéphane Lefebvre produced a flawless performance on his debut in the DS 3 WRC. Meticulous and incredibly consistent on his maiden WRC appearance, he concluded the event in tenth place, scoring his first point in the World Rally Championship! “ which bodes well for this future hopes and aspirations, but perhaps not so well for a certain Kris Meeke.

By the end of the fifth stage on Friday Kris was lying fourth, but it all went wrong on SS6. He ran wide and into a field on a slippery corner, damaging part of the front suspension. He managed to keep going, but was forced to drop his pace in the final few stages, losing around ten minutes on the leaders.

He dropped to 25th place and afterwards said: “On the second stage of the afternoon, there was some mud on a second-gear corner. We slid wide in the middle of the bend and ended up in a field. It took me about thirty seconds to be able to get back onto the road. Once we were going again, I got back up to full speed. But four or five kilometres later, part of the front suspension broke under heavy braking. We had to drive slowly to make it back to service. I’m really disappointed because our pace was good from the start.”

Meeke fought back to finish 12th overall and was second quickest over the final day Power Stages scoring a valuable 2 extra WRC points: “As our chances of a good result disappeared after my mistake on Friday, we had to find other sources of motivation. Three kilometres into the Power Stage, I felt confident so I decided to push to try and score a few points. It means that the rally ends on a positive note, but overall it has been a disappointing weekend. I’m going to keep working to eliminate these errors and I hope to do better at the next few rounds on tarmac, especially the Tour de Corse, which will be new for everyone.”

Afterwards, Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal commented: “Kris Meeke confirmed that he was competitive on tarmac and on gravel. Unfortunately, his mistake was a very costly one in terms of the overall result. After losing time on the first day as he looked for the right rhythm, Mads Østberg showed he was capable of fighting in the midfield on a surface which is difficult to get to grips with. On his first rally in the DS 3 WRC, Stéphane Lefebvre had an impressive race, which will have surprised many onlookers. He applied the instructions given to him by the team to the letter and the end result is beyond our expectations. His stage times and his splits were very interesting. We are keen to keep supporting him as he improves.”

Final Provisional Overall Standings:
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:35:49.5
2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +23.0
3. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:56.6
4. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:09.3
5. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:33.8
6. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:52.1
7. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +3:12.5
8. Ott Tanak / Raigo Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:26.6
9. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:46.8
10. Stéphane Lefebvre / Stéphane Prévot (DS 3 WRC) +4:54.5...
12. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +11:00.7

No comments:

Post a Comment