Victory for Sordo/Martí and Citroën on the Kouvola-Ralli
The entry of Dani Sordo/Marc Martí on the 29th Kouvola-Ralli proved extremely positive, with the Spanish pair winning the event outright and profiting from the opportunity to gain extra experience of the Finnish terrain at the wheel of their Citroën C4 WRC. At the same time, it provided Citroën Sport with some very fruitful feedback.
The one-day Ralli was the fifth round of the national championship. The eight gravel stages on the menu totalled 92km and were generally faster than those featured on Finland´s WRC round which is due to start on July 29.
Rally Finland is one of those world class events where experience plays a key role and where local knowledge makes the home-grown stars practically unbeatable in their own back garden. In order to give the team the best possible chance in its bid to win both world titles, Citroën Sport chose to enter a C4 WRC on the Kouvola-Ralli for Dani Sordo and Marc Martí.
"Today´s outing was beneficial on two accounts," explains Citroën Sport´s Chassis Manager Laurent Frégosi. "While Dani and Marc were busy getting kilometres under their belt at rally speed, we were able to validate the settings established during the tests we carried out before the start."
"It also gave us a chance to evaluate the new Pirelli ´Soft´ tyre which was making its debut this weekend," adds Dani and Marc´s engineer Émilie Lefur.
Dani fulfilled his mission to the letter, claiming practically every fastest stage time ahead of the local specialists. "Throughout the day, I concentrated hard on the notes being called out by Marc," says the young Spaniard who was clearly pleased with the experience. "I felt confident with the car and its set-up worked well on this sort of terrain. It rained before the start and there were further showers during the event, so the stages were quite wet. We profited from that to collect some useful data because these conditions were new to us. As for me, this rally enabled me to gain extra experience of this sort of surface and of the Finnish stages, which is good for my confidence as we prepare for our next WRC outing. Although it wasn´t our objective, it was nice to win. It´s my first victory in a WRC car, and my first with Marc and the C4. I hope it´s just a start...!"
1, D. Sordo/M. Martí (Citroën C4), 44m 56.2s
2, J. Salo/M. Stenberg (Mitsubishi Lancer), +1m 20.9s
3, J. Ketomaa/M. Teiskonen (Subaru Impreza), +1m 31.4s
4, K. Katajamäki/L. Hirvijärvi (Mitsubishi Lancer), +2m 13.2s
5, J. Hiltunen/J. Kalliolepo (Ford Focus), +2m 18.4s
(Text: AUTO-BON OY)