Loeb and Sordo remain on top
- 7th October 2007, 8:02am
the 2007 Rally Catalunya to hold on to the lead they pulled out on Day 1, while Dani
Sordo/Marc Martí follow in second place with the second Citroën Sport car.
The downpour that marked Friday's final stage to spice up the day's sport cleared
overnight, leaving way for bright sunshine as the two Citroeon C4 WRCs pulled out of the
Port Aventura service park. The menu for the second leg of the 2007 championship's
twelfth round took the form of a loop of four stages totalling 59.58km to be covered twice.
The two Citroeon crews started the day with an advantage of 50.3s and 39.3s respectively
over Marcus Groonholm (third) and both had every intention of holding their positions. The
opening loop saw them achieve their objective to the letter...
"The morning's loop went well," said Sébastien Loeb. "The ground was still damp in places
but we still had to keep up a fast pace, although we kept a bit of a safety margin. You have
to drive quickly because it's the best way to stay concentrated, something which is never
easy when you're leading by 50s." Indeed, after the first group of stages, Seb and Daniel
enjoyed a cushion of 46.6s over Grönholm.
Their Spanish team-mates adopted the same tactics. "The stages were quite dirty in
places," added Dani Sordo, "and I did my best to avoid taking any uncalled for risks in
order to hold on to second place." Delighted to see so much enthusiastic support from his
home fans, the young Spaniard fulfilled his mission, too, and kept his advantage over
Grönholm at more than half a minute.
The second half of the day promised to very similar, with the exception of two additional
parameters that needed to be dialled into the equation: a rise in ground temperature of
5°C, which necessitated a switch to hard compound BFGoodrich tyres, and dirtier
conditions. Bearing this in mind, the two Citroeon drivers continued at the same pace and
ended the day in the same positions they held when setting off this morning.
"It's not always fun when you have to control from in front, but it's been a good day,"
commented Seb. "The gaps have remained pretty much the same and we had a
completely trouble-free run with the C4 which performed perfectly. Tomorrow we will have
to stay concentrated for the four stages still to come." Dani was in exactly the same frame
of mind as his team-mate: "We could have gone quicker today but there was no reason to,
but it was great to see so many fans out on the stages."
"Thanks to the first class job they did yesterday, and especially their excellent collective
effort on SS6 which saw them go clear at the top, they put Citroeon Sport in a strong
position going in to Day 2 and were also under slightly less pressure today," observed Guy
Fréquelin. "Even so, they couldn't afford to take their eye off the ball and had to keep up a
quick pace while making sure they stayed clear of all the potential pitfalls. Seb and Dani
have maintained their leads over Marcus Groonholm and will need to do the same again
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