Acropolis - Citroen World Rally Team - Shakedown
The weather was extremely hot during this morning's shakedown session as the Citroen World Rally Team crews put the finishing touches to the set-ups of their respective C4 WRCs ahead of the three-day Acropolis Rally event.
Loeb and Daniel Elena set the second-fastest shakedown time, but as provisional leaders of the 2009 World Rally Championship, they will be first on the road when competitive actions begins on Friday.
"This is an event which calls for a cautious approach," warned Loeb. "What we saw during recce confirmed that this promises to be an extremely tough rally. It is very hot, the terrain is predominantly rough and there are numerous stages that are new. The abrasive tracks promise to be especially hard-wearing and there is a big risk of picking up a puncture."
"We will also have a great deal of road-sweeping to do on the first day, so there are many parameters that need to be taken into account," the Frenchman explained, however adding: "Shakedown went well for us and I am pleased with my car."
Dani Sordo and Marc Marti completed three runs of the 3.1km shakedown stage which was situated six kilometres away from the Loutraki service area.
"This has the makings of being a great rally, with extremely difficult conditions and very high temperatures," Sordo said. "Tyre wear promises to be a decisive factor, so we will need to take special care of our rubber on the longer stages."
"This is one of the few events where you can't drive flat from start to finish," the Spaniard continued. "You need to keep your style very smooth and not drive too aggressively."
"Shakedown showed that the stages are quickly swept clean, and I am happy with my car," he added. "Our objective is to finish on the podium."
The 2009 Acropolis Rally of Greece kicks off this evening with a ceremonial start on the bridge that straddles the impressive Corinth Canal. Competitive action begins tomorrow morning.