More spills than thrills for Citroën

"“I misjudged how slippery the road surface was on a corner"

More spills than thrills for Citroën
Listen to this article

Citroën Racing had a tough second day at the Wales Rally GB as first Robert Kubica and then Mikko Hirvonen were forced to retire after going off the road. In contrast, Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio produced a flawless display, enabling them to bounce back in spectacular fashion, climbing to ninth place in the overall standings!

Robert Kubica and Michele Ferrara, Citroën DS3 WRC
Robert Kubica and Michele Ferrara, Citroën DS3 WRC

Photo by: Citroën Communication

Hafren, Sweet Lamb and Myherin: the three stages contested today at Wales Rally GB are some of the event’s biggest classics and have been part of the rally for several years. After leaving Deeside early this morning, the crews completed a long road section before tackling SS4.

The first drama of the day involved Robert Kubica. Despite his cautious approach, which had enabled him to end the first leg in seventh overall, the Pole was caught out by a change in grip: “I misjudged how slippery the road surface was on a corner. The front wheels locked up on braking and we slid wide; we ended up rolling into the ditch by the side of the road. The car wasn’t badly damaged – the windscreen wasn’t broken – but there was no way we could’ve got the car back onto its wheels and out of the ditch by ourselves.”

The Citroën camp’s spirits were lifted when Dani Sordo set the fastest time on the Sweet Lamb stage. The Spaniard looked on course to repeat the feat on Myherin, but he eased off quite a bit when he saw Mikko Hirvonen’s DS3 WRC parked in the middle of the stage. “It came from a mistake in the pace notes on a long, flat corner in sixth that tightened to fifth gear. Jarmo didn’t say that it tightened so I just kept sixth gear, flat out, and then it was too late,” explained the mud-covered driver. “We slid wide, then flipped upside down and the windscreen broke as soon as we hit the roadside bank. The inside of the car is completely full of mud and stones…”

After analysing the condition of the DS3 WRC, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT and the Finnish crew decided not to try and rejoin the race under Rally2 rules. Robert Kubica and Michele Ferrara should however be back in action tomorrow.

Somewhat isolated in the standings at the remote service in Newton, Dani Sordo was pretty pleased with his morning: “After making a cautious start, I gradually felt more and more confident. As it isn’t raining, the level of grip is pretty good. It is still difficult to judge how slippery it’s going to be on the really muddy corners. I’m pleased to have set the fastest time on Sweet Lamb – it’s a stage that I really like.”

On the second loop, the Spanish crew continued their race at strong pace, regularly setting times close to those of the leaders. This series of strong performances meant they moved up the standings, ending the second leg ninth overall: “I am most all happy to have found a good pace and to be quick on a surface which in theory doesn’t really suit me. I hope to keep it up on the last two legs.”

Citroën Racing Media

shares
comments
Neuville and Evans remain on target in Wales
Previous article

Neuville and Evans remain on target in Wales

Next article

Ogier leads in Wales with one day to go

Ogier leads in Wales with one day to go
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Prime

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again.

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming Prime

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Prime

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Motorsport.com for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit.

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Prime

How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple.

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Prime

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Motorsport.com went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Prime

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport.

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya Prime

How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Prime

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022