Cyprus : Kronos Citroen WRT - Shakedown
The Cyprus Rally shakedown took place this morning on exactly the same location as in 2003 and 2004, a sinuous stage dominated by the Stavrovouni Mount and its famous orthodox monastery. Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena were
keen to start quite early their shakedown session just to have an idea of the road conditions and of how fast it would clean off. They had a better idea after their second passage (6 min 01s), which was 9 seconds faster on only 5,83 km!
The championship's leaders concentrated on comparing two possible set-up's and this led to a longer session than usual which they stopped after setting the fastest time on their sixth lap (5 min 45s). “Excellent shakedown,” said Seb. “As we expected, the stage surface started to clean before becoming rutted with stones appearing. On my fifth run; I slowed down a lot thinking I might have a puncture. But it was ok. We wanted to determine which settings to use and that's sorted! With those, the Xsara is perfect and seems to be very efficient. I hope this would be the case tomorrow too!”
Dani Sordo and Marc Marti first completed one run before heading back to service for general checking. On their second passage, an impact on the front right wheel damaged the track road which was promptly replaced at service. On the next runs, they also carefully studied the different settings.
“Such a slow pace is surprising compared to Finland or New Zealand,” explained Dani who set the fifth quickest time.
“First gear, second, third, second again… The car is great with the chosen set-up but I have to find the right pace for tomorrow.”
Xevi Pons and Carlos Del Barrio took their turn at 10 :30 exactly when the P2 drivers were allowed to start. “The ground was already destroyed,” explained Carlos. “We had a puncture but it was without problems as the mousse worked fine.” Xevi has asked for some fine-tuning on his seat which wasn't 100% right on the left side. The Spanish crew set the eighth fastest time after a second serial of runs.
The drivers will take part in the ceremonial start at 20 :00 on the seafront, the Lemesos promenade.
1. Sebastien Loeb
2. Marcus Gronholm
3. Mikko Hirvonen (Ford) 5:53.7
4. Manfred Stohl (Peugeot) 5:54.0
5. Daniel Sordo (Citroen) 5:54.5
6. Toni Gardemeister (Citroen) 5:54.7
7. Petter Solberg (Subaru) 5:55.2
8. Xavier Pons (Citroen) 5:56.5
9. Henning Solberg (Peugeot) 5:57.6
10. Chris Atkinson (Subaru) 5:58.2
11. Harri Rovanpera (Skoda) 6:04.0
12. Matthew Wilson (Ford) 6:04.5
13. Andreas Aigner (Skoda) 6:05.2
Citroen Kronos WRT Info