Loeb triumphs in Mexico

Loeb triumphs in MexicoFrom Citroen Press [ 06/05/2007 ].
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Two days of intense action in the 2007 Rally Argentina have ended in victory for Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who have once again succeeded in taking their C4 WRC to the top of the podium, while the second Citroën of Dani Sordo and Marc Martí completed the South American round in 6th place.

 

The classic stages that figured on Sunday's programme high in the sierra were no last-day stroll for
competitors who faced two passes over the celebrated Giulio Césare and El Cóndor tests, a loop of
almost 80 competitive kilometres without service that was always capable of springing a few
surprises. These stages were followed by the Córdoba super-special which concluded the weekend
to the delight of the local spectators.

Following the downpour that fell overnight on the Villa Carlos Paz region, the rain had cleared by
daybreak, although there was still plenty of standing water in the service park as the two Citroën C4
WRCs set off for the final day equipped with soft compound BFGoodrich tyres. Their tread patterns
had been extensively re-cut on both cars with a view to optimising traction.

One of the traditional features of this event is the radio coverage of the stages practically as they
happen by the 'palomos' commentators posted along the route to comment on the passage of each
car. With typical enthusiasm, one of them – perched high on a rock in 'El Condor' – practically could
be heard screaming into his microphone: "Y vemos ahora la Citroën C4, la flecha roja de Sébastien
Loeb que passa con un estilo espectacularrrrr !!!" His description basically said it all, although
Citroën's red arrow was not only spectacular in the hands of Sébastien Loeb, it was also – and
above all – extremely effective…

Seb and Daniel set off this morning determined to defend their overnight lead and profited from the
first two stages to almost double their advantage at the top of the leaderboard. "I had decided to
push from the outset just in case Marcus Grönholm tried something," related Seb. "That enabled us
to extend our lead and give us a little more breathing space for the final stages. I am obviously
delighted to have notched up another win with the Citroën C4 on what was yet another very
different type of event. With the exception of the organisational hiccough on Leg 1, it's always a
pleasure to compete here in front of such enthusiastic crowds. The C4 ran like clockwork on all the
different types of road and we now have a lead of three points over Marcus in the Drivers'
standings. It's very close and the battle promises to be just as fierce in Sardinia…"

Despite their hydraulic problem on Saturday afternoon's SS18, Dani Sordo and Marc Martí were in
fighting form and ready for action when they turned up at parc ferme this morning. "Although
today's leg wasn't all that long, it was a chance for us to improve on our position," explained Dani.
"A fastest time on SS20 enabled us to move into 7th place. I felt really comfortable with my C4, so I
decided to keep pushing and we ended up clinching 6th. I think the combination of my times over
today's challenging stages, the way I felt at the wheel and the reduction in the gap compared with
the established drivers shows that I am improving, although I've still got plenty of work on my
hands."

"With just two days' worth of stages to cover, this year's Rally Argentina ended up being a true
'sprint event, so even the smallest error was out of the question," commented Guy Fréquelin after
the finish. "The cancellation of seven of Friday's eight scheduled stages turned the weekend into a
two-set match which Sébastien and Daniel ended up winning. Everything went perfectly for them
and their 32nd world class win with Citroën was amply merited. The C4 WRC's score of 12 fastest
times from a possible 16 is also further evidence that it is a competitive package. This is its third
consecutive win and its fourth from six rounds since the start of the season. Citroën has also gone
unbeaten in Argentina for the past four years now, and that's a tremendous reward for all the
excellent work put in by everyone at Citroën Sport. This is a demanding rally and Dani Sordo, who
is still young, still lacks experience. But he was also unlucky yesterday and his overall performance
was reassuring. I think he has made a step forward and he continues to progress."