Not far from the Kemer service park, the drivers took part in the shakedown to prepare for the Rally of Turkey, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship.
The drivers were already familiar with the course, which is nearly identical to the one used last year. Rain - not
typical at this time of the year in the region - surprised everyone and made the roads very muddy since Monday.
According to most drivers, the organisers of the Turkish event did a great job in the stages. The roads are wider and flatter but due to the recent work, the surface was still a bit soft.
The rain changed the road surface from gravel into mud. "It's a clayish and very sticky mud," explained Sebastien Loeb
. "It goes in the tyres sculptures and doesn't evacuate properly, almost transforming them in 'slicks' tyres. You lose all the grip and even at low speed during the recce we slid a lot."
The sun was back today but only for part of the time. "In some places, the mud is very thick and in the brushwoods, the sun will only have a limited effect," explained Michel Ducher, the Michelin technician working with the CitroŽn team.
In these conditions, it is difficult to know which starting position will be the best. At CitroŽn, the question remains to know if it will be better to open the road, as Sebastien or to start in fifteenth position as Carlos SainzÖ
Like in Cyprus, Marcus Gronholm
was the fastest driver during the shakedown. Sebastien Loeb
completed only three runs (mostly to test different tyres), the Frenchman happy with the set-up of his Xsara. Carlos Sainz drove five times through the stage, willing to have all his 'sensations' back as quick as possible. Happy with his car's balance, the Madrid based driver also worked on his adaptation to the HANS system which he will be using for the first time in competition.
H.G. Source CitroŽn Sport