More spills than thrills for Citroën

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

More spills than thrills for Citroën

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
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021