New horizons for Citroen Juniors

New horizons for Citroen JuniorsFrom Citroen Press [ 12/04/2010 ].
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Just 10 days after the finish of the Jordan Rally, the Citroën Junior Team goes to Turkey for the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström will drive the two Citroën C4 WRCs on this new event based close to Istanbul.

A few days after the Jordan Rally, the Citroën Junior Team embarks on one of the three brand new events
scheduled for the 2010 season. Prior to Bulgaria and Alsace, the team will contest the all-new Rally
Turkey, based in Pendik on the outskirts of Istanbul. The event will take place on two continents with a
start ceremony outside the Hagia Sophia mosque and stages on the Asian side of the Bosphorus River.
In total, 12% of the 358.84 kilometres scheduled will be on asphalt. During the second day, the 18.17-
kilometre Göçbeyli stage (SS10 and SS14) will feature 13.49 kilometres of asphalt. The final section of
Bozhane (SS12 and SS16) is on asphalt as well, and parts of the Riva and Ballica stages are also run
partly on sealed surfaces.

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have consistently challenged the frontrunners since the start of the
season, and showed their ability to be competitive on all sorts of different surfaces. On the Rally of
Turkey, which is a new event for everyone, the 2008 Junior World Rally Champions will be able to fight
on equal terms. “As was the case in Jordan, it’s going to be important not to make any mistakes,” said
Sébastien. “This is a brand new rally for all the crews, so for the first time this year we start on a level
playing field against the other WRC drivers. The recce will be extremely important. We’re going to try
and fight with the leaders on this event just as we did in Sweden, Mexico and Jordan. The whole team
has done a great job since the start of the season, which our good results have proved.”

Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström scored their first WRC points in Jordan by finishing eighth overall. “It
was important to get to the finish of this particularly difficult event,” said the former Grand Prix
champion. “It was only my eighth-ever rally, but also the most difficult one I have seen so far.”
In Turkey, the Finnish crew will face another totally new route and surface. “I’ve no real idea of what to
expect from the stages in Turkey,” added Kimi. “We’re going to need to do a lot of work during the recce
in order to start off the rally well. Our goal is to be at the finish again, and to gradually reduce the gap to
the other WRC drivers.”

Three questions to… Kimi Räikkönen

You scored your first World Rally Championship points in Jordan. Was that the first mission
accomplished for this season?

“My only aim on my third WRC event with the C4 was just to reach the finish in Jordan. We saw
particularly difficult road conditions with very specialised stages, which were extremely slippery and had
very few reference points. The first day was definitely the hardest one I have ever contested throughout
my short career in rallying. So I was really pleased to get through all these hazards and not to make any
big mistakes. We weren’t particularly quick but this is just a phase we have to go through in order to
make progress.”

How do you see your progress at the wheel of the Citroën C4 WRC?
“The terrain in Jordan was very difficult to Mexico. Over in Mexico, I felt quite confident. So I decided to
push a little bit harder and then I went off. In Jordan, we decided to stay at a safe pace in order to be sure
of getting to the finish. But I learn more about the Citroën C4 WRC and how to drive it with every
kilometre. At the end of each stage, I have the feeling that I’ve learned a bit more. I’m beginning to feel
more comfortable, and perhaps most importantly of all, I’m really enjoying myself in the WRC!”

Will the kilometres you covered in Jordan allow you to approach the Rally of Turkey with more

“Once more, we’re going to be discovering a very different environment in Turkey. The experience is
coming to us step by step, but each rally is new. Once more, the goal is to be there at the finish. We’ll see
where we are at after the start of the rally and if we get the chance, we will try to reduce the gap to the
leaders a bit.”