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Kronos Racing (Citroen) boss, Marc Van Dalen, tells why the team selected Colin McRae to substitute for Sebastien Loeb in this weekend’s Rally of Turkey.

Sébastien Loeb’s accident doesn’t make life easy for your team?

“For sure! It’s really hard and it happens just when Seb had everything in hands to clinch a third Drivers’ title in a row. All the team is behind him but the most important thing is that he recovers completely and for that he shouldn’t go faster than reasonable.

“Of course, we are hoping for the quickest and complete recovery as possible. We are confident and Sébastien has kept (from the time he was a gymnast) exceptional physical feature and I can assure you that he will be helped by the best people.”

How did decide for Colin McRae to replace him?

“To replace Seb is impossible, that’s clear! And finding a driver who could help during his absence was not an easy task. Together with Guy Fréquelin, we have deeply thought and drawn a list of names. For each candidate, we have listed the pros and cons. We thought about it again and both of us reached the same conclusion.

“With his knowledge of the car and his experience, Colin seems to be the one being able to perform in such a short period of time. He is extremely motivated to this situation which he considers like a personal challenge. We know his speed, but also know that his job won’t be easy. We will ask him to put the maximum pressure on Marcus Grönholm, as well as thinking of the ‘Manufacturers’ points for which we are still fighting.”

How do you see the ‘after-Cyprus’ of your two young Spanish drivers?

“Despite two small mistakes during the first leg, Xevi (Pons) has found his confidence and his smile. Considering his position, he cleverly chose a steady pace and didn’t make any more errors on the next two days. He deserved his sixth place and it’s not his fault he couldn’t achieve it in the end.

“I had a very long conversation with Dani (Sordo), very affected by his Cypriot mistake. He went through a bad phase. It cannot last for long. He is a clever and gifted guy and I am sure he will come back in top form.

“The fact that Seb will not be in Turkey will give a higher sense of responsibility. He knows we need him more than ever and I am convinced he will bring back as many points as possible, considering his lack of experience on the Turkish ground.”

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