2nd for Loeb on C4 snow debut

2nd for Loeb on C4 snow debutFrom Citroen Press [ 11/02/2007 ].
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Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena took their Citroën C4 WRC to the second step of the 2007 Swedish Rally's podium ahead of their Citroën Sport team-mates Dani Sordo and Marc Martí who finished 12th overall.

Despite the Citroën C4 WRC's one-two finish in the hands of Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani
Sordo/Marc Martí on January's Monte Carlo Rally, there was an overriding sense of caution in the
Citroën Sport camp going into 2007 World Rally Championship's second round. Despite the new car's
speed on asphalt, everyone was keen to see how the Satory-based squad's latest challenger
performed on the Swedish Rally's icy terrain and whether it was just as competitive in slippery
conditions.

Guy Fréquelin was encouraged by the information gleaned during the opening day: "Even though
Seb spent all of Friday running first on the road, we saw that C4 WRC was capable of challenging for
victory on the snow and ice here in Sweden. That's extremely encouraging for the rest of the
championship."

Sébastien Loeb agreed: "This event has nothing in common with the Monte Carlo Rally. With a new
car, we were essentially starting from a clean sheet and I was eager to see how the C4 WRC
performed in these conditions and I have to say that I'm delighted with my times. To be up there
fighting with the front-runners straight away is very reassuring because the difference between the
set-up for snow and dirt is not all that big, so I don't think we should be too far out of our depth during
the coming rounds."

Dani Sordo's mission in Sweden was more complex. The young Spaniard knew that his modest
experience of the wintry round meant he would basically spend the weekend familiarising himself with
the highly specific conditions, and he wasn't helped when he lost time with an early minor off. "On top
of my slow-speed error on SS2, I still need to find my marks. I am concentrating on keeping the car
on the road and trying to learn as much as I can about driving on snow..."

Sébastien kicked off Day 2 by posting his third fastest time of the rally on SS9 and admitted that he
had every intention of fighting for victory. A little later on, though, a different tyre choice compared to
that of his main rival failed to produced the hoped for result and the three-time World Champion lost
ground. The resulting gap prompted him to concentrate instead on defending his 2nd place and using
the rest of the event to prepare for next weekend's Rally Norway. "Just as we were having a good
scrap with Marcus Grönholm, who is the man to beat here, we went for a different tyre choice
compared to him and it didn't pay off. It's obviously frustrating to be outdistanced because of
something like that, but I still go away with eight points which means we are still leading the
championship. We have also been able to see how competitive the C4 WRC is and that's nice to
know for what lies ahead."

Guy Fréquelin leaves Sweden feeling upbeat: "Although this event is very different from the Monte
Carlo, we showed that the Citroën C4 WRC was a very competitive package here. Sébastien and
Dani are pleased with the handling of the car which they find nicely balanced and easy to drive. The
eight points Seb scored for finishing 2nd are naturally important, as is the point picked up by Dani. All
things being equal, he couldn't have expected much more here. Given how little experience he has,
he managed to put in just the sort of performance I wanted from him. The way the event unfolded
proved yet again that to succeed in Sweden you need to be perfect on every front. As in Finland, if
you want to take the fight to Marcus, every detail counts."

Dani Sordo's consistency in his role of apprentice enabled him to achieve his objective: "I am glad to
have reached the finish but I can't say that I'm completely satisfied with my performance because I'm
still too hesitant. There are lots of corners where I know I dropped time. I've gained more experience
but I've still got so much to learn." He completed the distance in 12th position to earn an additional
point for his team which keeps Citroën on top of the provisional Manufacturers'.