An instructive outing for Citroën and Dani Sordo
As part of its build-up to the forthcoming Rally Finland (August 2-5), Round 9 of the 2007 World Rally Championship, Citroën Sport took the decision to enter a C4 WRC for Dani Sordo/Marc Martí on today´s O.K. Auto-Ralli.The early part of the event proved extremely instructive for the team but the crew was later forced to retire midway through the day following an off.
Based in the Kouvola region, the fifth round of Finland´s national championship was the country´s final fixture prior to its home WRC round that will see the series resume after the seven-week summer break. The event was seen by Citroën Sport as a first class opportunity to pursue the development of the C4, validate the set-up defined during pre-Finland testing and also give Dani and Marc a chance to get in extra experience of the country´s highly specific stages.
Dani´s enthusiasm gained a few notches after the recce. "The stages are extremely fast," he observed. "Most of them are very similar to what we will find in August. Citroën´s idea of entering this event and giving me the opportunity to drive here was excellent." Following Friday evening´s shakedown, the young Spaniard was even more pleased to be at the start. "My most recent drive in the C4 was test work on asphalt, so it took me a few kilometers to find my marks on the loose again. You really need time to adapt to the specific characteristics of this event. If this had been Rally Finland itself, I would doubtlessly have lost a fair bit of time.Hopefully, today´s run will shorten the amount of time I will need to bed myself in when we get to Jyväskylä."
The opening loop of four stages enabled the Citroën Sport staff
present at the event to see how effective the set-up established
during the team´s test programme prior to the Finnish WRC encounter
was. "The C4 is perfectly balanced and very quick in these
conditions," reported Dani who emerged on top after posting all the
quickest times. "I felt confident at once. It responds very well
and it´s a pleasure to drive. We are continuing to explore other avenues to evaluate other set-up options and further increase our understanding of the C4 over these highly specific stages."
Unfortunately, an ill-judged pacenote led to an off in the middle of SS5 to bring the run of Dani Sordo and Marc Marti to a premature halt.
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