Loeb ends day two on top

Loeb ends day two on topFrom Citroen Press [ 03/10/2009 ].
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The second leg of the 2009 RallyRACC Catalunya saw the domination of the C4 WRCs continue with a further full-house of fastest times. The two Citroën Total World Rally Team crews spent the day trading the lead, but it is finally Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who will start the last leg on top, less than two seconds ahead of Dani Sordo/Marc Marti. Citroën appears to have an excellent chance of securing its fifth consecutive one-two finish on the Spanish asphalt classic.

Competitors were once again greeted by glorious sunshine as they headed for the first group of stages,
with the day's programme based on the event's now-traditional format of three tests in the morning
repeated in the afternoon.

Dani Sordo kicked off the leg with a cushion of 1.6 seconds over his team-mate, but Sébastien Loeb
was fastest on today's first stage El Priorat-La Ribera d’Ebre (SS7), the longest of the weekend. The
result of the test put the five-time World Champion exactly level with his team-mate in the overall
standings: "I think I drove well, and it was important to look after our tyres over the full 38 kilometres."
The Frenchman then came second behind fellow Citroën driver Sébastien Ogier on SS8 to go clear at
the top. Dani Sordo responded on the following test, however, to recover the lead… by less than a

"This morning was great fun," admitted the Spaniard back at the service area in Salou. "Our pace was
sufficiently quick to stay concentrated, but without taking any risks. The gap over Mikko Hirvonen has
increased and we intend to keep up the same sort of momentum this afternoon."

"Dani and I both know that the important thing is to stay on the road, but we are driving as we feel…
and we feel comfortable. This fight between us is enabling us to stay focused. In any case, it's practically
impossible to drive a WRC any other way than quickly," explained Sébastien.

True to their word, the two Citroën Total WRT crews continued at a similar pace after the lunchtime
service break. Mindful of the need to play it safe, however, they both carried two spare wheels for the
afternoon's loop. After claiming another fastest time on SS11 (Les Garrigues 2), Sébastien Loeb eased
back ahead after SS12 (La Llena 2): "It's been a good team effort with Dani today. I had to take the
lead at some point because it's vital that I win here to give myself the very best chance of winning the
title. I enjoyed today's stages. There's only one true asphalt event on the calendar this year, so I've
been trying to make the most of it."

"The situation as its stands is perfect for Citroën, too," observed Dani Sordo. "We mustn't forget,
though, that there's still another full day of competition and six more stages to come, so nobody's
entirely safe from an unpleasant surprise. We will need to keep our eye on the ball to the very end to
make sure we conclude our run with a one-two finish."