Japan - Citroen Sport - Finish
The third and final leg of Rally Japan saw Dani Sordo and Marc Martí successfully steer their Citroën C4 WRC to second place at the finish in Obihiro this afternoon. Meanwhile, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena profited from the SupeRally
ruling to rejoin the fourteenth round of the championship with their C4 with a view to preparing for early December's Wales Rally GB.
The programme of the last day featured 97.33km of stages which took the form of two loops of three tests, plus a final visit to the Obihiro super-special. And once again, the day's early start (up at 3:30am!), long road sections (290.42km) and low temperatures (5°C) ensured that the Japanese event will be remembered as one of the toughest fixtures of the year.
Although Dani Sordo didn't particularly enjoy his first visit to Hokkaido in 2006, he will leave Japan's northernmost island with fond memories this time round.
"It wasn't the easiest of events," he remarked after spraying the champagne on this afternoon's podium. "We really had to take care over today's stages which were again extremely slippery. The combination of fast roads and frequently changing grip meant that we had to be on our toes throughout.
I am glad to have finished second and the weekend has brought me a lot of extra experience on this type of terrain. That could well come in useful in the future. We also did some good set-up for the last round of the year in Wales."
Despite their off on Saturday's SS13, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena re-joined the event this morning with the intention of preparing for the last gravel round of the season.
"Along with the Citroen Sport technical staff, we decided to profit from the last day to work on the set-up of our C4 WRC because the conditions were similar to what we can expect in Wales. Daniel and I have already put yesterday's mistake behind us. We are fully aware of the challenge that awaits us if we want to defend our title. The fight is by no means over and we give it our very best shot on the last two rounds of the season," said Seb.
Source Citroen Sport