Pirelli-Shod Citroens Achieve One-Two in WRC Spanish Round
The Citroen C4 of Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo have finished first and second respectively in the 44th Catalunya Rally in Spain. The Citroens took command from the start, beating Hirvonen-Lehtinen and Duval-Pivato’s factory Ford Focus in third. In the Junior WRC (JWRC), the Citroen C2 of Martin Prokop claimed the spoils, from the Renault Clio R3 of Alessandro Bettega.
Just as was the case at the Rallye Deutschland in mid-August and on these same roads in Spain one year ago, Citroen claimed the top positions thanks to their C4 WRC crews of Loeb-Elena and Sordo-Marti. The result reinforces Loeb’s lead of the drivers’ World Championship and Citroen’s advantage in the constructors’ standings.
“Everything went smoothly from start to finish; our C4 WRC was superlative, and the PZero tyres did their job while Daniel and myself did ours. The end result is an excellent boost to our chances in the drivers’ and constructors’ standings,” Loeb summed up the Catalunya Rally. He will already thinking of the Rally de France-Tour de Corse that gets underway in a few days’ time. There he will start once again as the favourite to win his home event.
On the three special stages that were identical to those run in 2007 (and therefore an appropriate benchmark in terms of length, surface and climate) this year’s PZero control tyre – which is also homologated for road use – often set quicker stage times than the mousse-filled development tyres used up until the end of last season.
As previously mentioned, the Junior World Rally Championship category was won by the Citroen C2 S1600 of Martin Prokop, in front of Alessandro Bettega’s Renault Clio R3. The victory was a huge source of satisfaction for Prokop, who also won the Production Car World Championship category (which is exclusively supplied by Pirelli) in New Zealand at the wheel of a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer.