Poland - Citroen Junior Team - Finish
The Citroen Junior Team once again showed the potential of its C4 WRCs and its three crews with some strong performances at Rally Poland, round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship. This impressive form gives the team plenty of
confidence for the rest of the season.
Nearly 90 competitive kilometres made up the last day of racing at Rally Poland. The three CJT C4 WRCs were once again amongst the frontrunners, with a fastest time for Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia in Milki (SS14) at an average speed of more than 116 kph.
Starting off at a rapid pace, which was even quicker than that of their teammates at the halfway split, Evgeny Novikov and Dale Moscatt unfortunately lost a few seconds in the final kilometres of the stage with a puncture.
Having driven a consistent rally, Conrad Rautenbach and Daniel Barritt continued to make progress on Sunday.
"The gaps both in front and behind us are large" said Zimbabwean driver Rautenbach. "I am building up confidence with the Citroen C4 WRC on these very quick roads. It is really valuable to gain more experience with the car under these conditions."
After setting off for the second loop of stages, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia had to stop 2.5 kilometres into Milki (SS16).
"We lost power and decided to stop in order not to damage the engine further," reported Frenchman Ogier. "I am very disappointed that our rally has ended this way, but I think we have shown our capabilities well over the last three days. Our learning curve continues and we are building up more and more experience with each rally.
I believe we can draw a positive conclusion from this event."Sebastien Loeb
having fallen down the standings after an accident on Friday, on Sunday's final stages Evgeny Novikov and Conrad Rautenbach slowed down to allow the Citroen World Rally Team driver to score extra points. The move also helped to consolidate the main team's first place in the overall manufacturer standings.
Olivier Quesnel, the Team Principal of Citroen Racing, confirmed: "We asked Evgeny Novikov and Conrad Rautenbach to let Sebastien Loeb
past so that the Citroen World Rally Team could score points that may well become vital by the end of the season."
Benoit Nogier, the Citroen Junior Team Manager, added: "Sebastien Ogier managed to get past both the Solberg brothers before a turbo problem prevented him from finishing the rally and going for the third place that he deserved. Nonetheless, it was an excellent performance from him and a good confirmation of his pace in Greece."
"Evgeny enjoyed himself throughout the weekend and underlined his talent once more. His speed was clear to see. Conrad drove a fault-free event and would have been close to scoring points had it not been for the problems with the factory team," Nogier concluded.