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Happy ending just points away…
With the second place of Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and the third place of Carlos Sainz/Marc Marti, the two Xsara WRCs have scored valuable points for both Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships. Only three rounds before the final target, Citroën and their crews are lying only a few points from a possible conquest of the two titles.
Sébastien Loeb only needs five points to become World Champion and Citroën seven points to give the Xsara its second crown. There are three remaining events to reach the targets which were set at the beginning of the season.
The third leg was expected to be very difficult as it offered six special stages without any service in between. Once more, the Xsaras proved their excellent reliability on this occasion. Team boss Guy Frequelin was extremely satisfied at the finish in Olbia. “Both our Xsaras went through the whole event without any single problem. This technical reliability is also reinforced by the strength and the race craft of our drivers and co-drivers. The results here absolutely follow our plans and the same for our strategy in the Championship. I often compare this Championship to a rally : there are sixteen rounds, like sixteen special stages in summary. The fastest drivers and the best car are those who pass the finish line in the leading position”.
Second for the fifth time this season, and on the podium for the tenth time, Sébastien Loeb has once again shown the maturity of an experienced driver. “Just after the first stage, I said to myself that it will be difficult to beat Petter Solberg here. I went faster in some places but he always kept his lead. When Marcus Grönholm had some problems, I thought it wasn’t stupid to go for the second place. And that’s what we’ve done, just before two events which should be favourable to us. Actually, I won’t hide that I would really like to win Corsica…”
Climbing onto the 94th podium of his career, Carlos Sainz was also very pleased. The “veteran” of the Championship has once again fought with the front-runners. “This event was very difficult for engineers and technicians as we were driving on a new terrain. We had quickly to find the most appropriate settings. It was also very tricky for the drivers due to the very narrow stages and the rocks interspersing on the sides. Despite all that, the team has scored a fantastic result with two cars in the top three. On my side, I’m now lying third in the Drivers’ Championship and I will try to defend this position…”
Position of the Xsara WRC cars, and gap separating them from the fastest time, on each special stage.Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena / Carlos Sainz
SS14 Limbara 1 (18,60 km) / 4th + 12,8 s / 3rd + 8,9 s
SS15 Terramala 1 (11,59km) / 1st / 4th + 1,8 s
SS16 Monti di Deu 1 (8,65 km) / 4th + 6,4 s / 2nd + 3,7 s
SS17 Limbara 2 (18,60 km) / 4th + 21,8 s / 5th + 24,7 s
SS18 Terramala 1 (11,59km) / 3rd + 8,7 s / 5th + 13,9 s
SS19 Monti di Deu 1 (8,65 km) / 5th + 11,9 s / 3rd + 10,5 s
Leg 1. SS1 and 2: Petter Solberg (Subaru Impreza) – SS3: Sébastien Loeb (Citroën Xsara) – SS4and 5: Marcus Grönholm (Peugeot 307) – SS6: P. Solberg.
Leg 2. SS7, 8, 9, 10: P. Solberg – SS11: M. Grönholm – SS12 and 13: P. Solberg.
Leg 3. SS14: P. Solberg – SS15: S. Loeb – SS16 and 17: P. Solberg – SS18: M. Grönholm – SS19: P. Solberg.
P. Solberg, 13 fastest times - M. Grönholm, 4 - S. Loeb, 2.
SS1 to 19: P. Solberg.
* Stage times of the competitors who re started after having retired thanks to the SupeRally regulations trial, are not taken into account in these statistics.
- P. Solberg/Ph. Mills (Subaru Impreza)4 h 43 min 47,9 s
- S. Loeb/D. Elena (Citroën Xsara)+ 2 min 07,9 s
- C. Sainz/M. Marti (Citroën Xsara)+ 3 min 20,9 s
- A. Navarra/S. Fedeli (Subaru Impreza)+ 10 min 16,1 s
- F. Duval/S.Prevot (Ford Focus)+ 10 min 48 s
- G. Galli/G. D’Amore (Mitsubishi Lancer)+ 25 min 11,6 s
- M. Grönholm/T. Rautiainen (Peugeot 307)+ 26 min 39,2 s
- A. Warmbold/G.Price (Ford Focus)+ 28 min 03,2 s
- P. G. Andersson/J. Andersson (Suzuki Ignis)+ 29 min 03,6 s
- P. Andreucci/A. Andreucci (Fiat Punto)+ 31 min 01,9 s
FIA World Manufacturers’ Rally Championship **
1.Citroën, 164 points – 2. Ford, 117 pts - 3. Subaru, 101 pts – 4. Peugeot, 80 pts.
FIA World Drivers’ Rally Championship **
1.S. Loeb, 100 points – 2. P. Solberg, 74 pts - 3. C. Sainz, 61 pts - 4. M. Märtin, 59 pts - 5. M. Grönholm, 49 pts - 6. F. Duval, 47 pts – 7. M. Hirvonen, 23 pts - 8. H. Rovanperä, 20 pts – 9. J. Tuohino, 16 pts – 10. F. Loix, 7 pts – 11. D. Carlsson, 6 pts - 12. G. Panizzi, 6 pts – 13. A. Navarra, 5 pts – 14. C. Robert, 4 pts – 15. M. Stohl, 4 pts … etc.
** unofficial results until final publication by the FIA.
For further information:
Citroën Australia Media Web Site: Williams / Tel: (02) 9701 8020 Web site: Australia Street Address: Heritage Building, Campus Business Park, 350 Parramatta Road, Homebush NSW 2140 Australia. Postal Address: Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd,Locked Bag 260, Silverwater, NSW 1811, Australia Telephone: 02 9701 8000; Direct Telephone 02 9701 8015 Fax: 02 9701 3555. Mobile +61 0407 913 244 A.B.N. 34 000 486 706 EJR/ejr/007 10/4/2004
General Manager / Fax: (02) 9701 3555
Citroën Australia / Mob: 0419 800 520
Edward Rowe / Tel: (02) 9701 8015
Public Relations Manager / Fax: (02) 9701 3555
Citroën Australia / Mob: 0407 913 244
Web site: Australia
Street Address: Heritage Building, Campus Business Park, 350 Parramatta Road, Homebush NSW 2140 Australia.
Postal Address: Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd,Locked Bag 260, Silverwater, NSW 1811, Australia
Telephone: 02 9701 8000; Direct Telephone 02 9701 8015 Fax: 02 9701 3555. Mobile +61 0407 913 244
A.B.N. 34 000 486 706