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Silver medal for Loeb and Elena in Sweden
Sweden Rally 2006: Kronos Citroën WRT - Finish
If speed-skating in a World Rally Car were an Olympic sport, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena would have been deserving recipients of a silver medal. And thanks to an excellent seventh place from Xevi Pons and Carlos Del Barrio,
the Kronos Citroen World Rally Team would have taken a gold medal, for scoring more constructors' points in Sweden than any other team.
« Right up to the start of the last stage we tried everything: absolutely everything! Today Marcus [Grönholm] was quicker than us. » Seb's laconic summary of the day's events neatly encapsulates the disappointment of a fierce competitor who was unable to gain the upper hand. « This morning, when Marcus's car had a problem and we closed to within 15 seconds, we tried a daring tyre choice. We‘ve got no regrets about the outcome. Another second place, with eight drivers' and constructors' points, is a good start to a season which is going to be fascinating. All the signs are there for a good fight ! »

A delighted Xevi Pons joked: « On my fourth Swedish Rally – but the first in a WRC car – I learnt…that I still have a lot to learn about Sweden ! I achieved the goal that the team set for me : to finish the rally and bring back as many constructors points as possible. I'm very happy not to have made mistakes and I'm also pleased that I have been able to see my progress on many of the stages. On top of that, I scored two drivers' points. All in all, I'll have some very good memories of this event ! »

« Bring on Mexico ! » said Dani Sordo, pleased at having passed the gruelling test of Sweden. « Doing your first Swedish Rally in a World Rally Car is an extremely difficult challenge. Without experience of the conditions, how are you meant to use two passages at 70km/h to make pace notes that you will sometimes rely on while travelling at 180km/h? But I think now that I have found some answers to those questions. The team has done a fantastic job, giving me a trouble-free car that allowed me to accumulate the maximum experience. I am just annoyed with myself for having made the mistake which cost me seven minutes. »

Team principal Marc van Dalen was delighted by a very positive rally. « We are very happy, » he said. « As usual, Sébastien has been superb. He was the only person able to keep up with Marcus Grönholm, who was undoubtedly the quickest driver here. Xevi's performance has surpassed my expectations. He's been entirely consistent and not made a single mistake, to bring us a result that we thought was impossible given the high number of local specialists in World Rally Cars. He can quite rightly feel proud of himself. Dani made a small mistake, but he has brought the car back in one piece. Finally, the team has once more functioned without the slightest hiccup – as was also the case in Monte Carlo. This was a rally that many of our people were unfamiliar with, so their excellent performance was fantastic, and very encouraging as we all head off to Mexico for the first time. »
Citroen Kronos WRT


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