Poland - Citroen World Rally Team - Shakedown
This morning's shakedown saw the Citroen World Rally Team concentrate on adapting the set-ups of their C4 WRCs to Rally Poland's highly specific terrain. The best time was posted by Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena at first attempt,
in a tie with the Ford team's Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen.
The Citroen WRT's adventure in Poland kicked off with last Sunday's road show in the country's capital. Some 15,000 spectators from across the country turned out to watch the C4 WRCs perform a demonstration display round the Warsaw Rally's famous street stage in the hands of Sebastien Loeb
and Dani Sordo, not to mention runs from C2-R2 MAX drivers competing in the 2009 Polish Citroen Racing Trophy.
After recce, which is always a particularly important exercise when contesting a rally that counts toward the World Rally Championship for the first time, competitors turned their attention to this morning's shakedown.
"Our first run went well," commented Loeb after posting the best time. "But the stage soon cut up, with big ruts beginning to form. That's something we will have to contend with on this weekend's second passes, and we tried to find a set-up that works in these conditions.
"Running first on the road on Day 1 shouldn't be a handicap," he added. "Our aim will be to push as hard as possible, without going off... We have squandered too many points on the last two rallies, and we that's a trend we need to reverse."
The Frenchman's approach is shared by team-mates Dani Sordo and Marc Marti.
"It's going to be a tough event," Sordo said. "The stages, which are new for everyone, are fast, narrow and also damp."
"Our aim is to finish on the podium and secure points for both championships. Shakedown wasn't easy: there were lots of ruts and the car was moving about quite a bit. There will be little margin for error," the Spaniard stated.
Rally Poland starts at 7pm this evening, with competitors then tackling the super special situated alongside the Mikolajki service area from 8pm.