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Les Citroën préservent l’essentiel

Les Citroën préservent l’essentiel

01.08.2009: Neste Rally Finland (30 juillet – 2 août 2009) – Jour 2 Parti ce matin avec la ferme intention de contester la première place à Mikko Hirvonen, Sébastien Loeb s’est résolu à assurer la deuxième place du Rallye de

Neste Rally Finland (30 juillet – 2 août 2009) – Jour 2



Parti ce matin avec la ferme intention de contester la première place à Mikko Hirvonen, Sébastien Loeb s’est résolu à assurer la deuxième place du Rallye de Finlande après avoir perdu du temps lors d’une crevaison. Désormais quatrième, à quelques secondes du podium, Dani Sordo reste concentré sur l’objectif de marquer un maximum de points pour le Citroën Total World Rally Team.

Après le soleil éclatant de la première journée, c’est la pluie qui accueillait les concurrents pour la deuxième étape du Rallye de Finlande. Cette longue journée se composait de trois boucles de trois spéciales, entrecoupées de retours au parc d’assistance de Jyväskylä.

A l’arrivée des 21,35 kilomètres de Leustu 1 (ES11), les chronos des hommes de tête donnaient la tendance de la matinée. Deuxième à 2’’2 d’Hirvonen, Sébastien Loeb reconnaissait la valeur de son adversaire : « Je ne peux pas aller plus vite. Mikko a un petit avantage en ouvrant la route, car il me dépose une petite couche de boue dans la trajectoire. Je vois où il met ses roues, il roule très vite. Moi aussi, mais ce n’est pas suffisant… » Troisième de la spéciale, à 13’’1 du leader, Dani Sordo était confronté à des conditions encore plus difficiles : « Si Seb peut parfois choisir une trajectoire légèrement différente de celle de Mikko, moi je n’ai pas le choix et je dois passer dans cette ‘pommade’ grasse. »

En concédant quelques secondes supplémentaires dans Himos 1 et Surkee 1, Sébastien Loeb et Daniel Elena regagnaient le parc d’assistance avec un passif de 10’’9. Après trente minutes d’assistance effectuées sous un soleil revanchard, les C4 WRC reprenaient le chemin des mêmes spéciales.

Pour Sébastien Loeb, la course basculait dans l’ES15 (Himos 2) : « Ma roue avant droite s’est coincée dans une ornière et le pneu s’est décollé de la jante. L’air s’est échappé et j’ai terminé avec une roue quasiment à plat. Nous avons désormais 26’’ de retard, autant dire que nous ne pouvons plus viser la victoire à la régulière. Il va falloir rester sur la route, ce qui n’a rien d’évident sur ces spéciales… »

Dans la spéciale suivante (Surkee 2, ES16), Dani Sordo connaissait une mésaventure similaire : « J’ai tapé une pierre et j’ai cru que j’avais crevé. J’ai perdu un peu de temps, ce qui a permis à Latvala de me passer. Globalement j’ai un peu plus de mal sur les spéciales d’aujourd’hui, tandis que Jari-Matti a haussé le ton. »

Après un nouveau passage par l’assistance, trois nouvelles spéciales clôturaient la journée. Jouant placé, Sébastien Loeb cherchait avant tout à sécuriser sa deuxième position : « Nous avons tenté plusieurs choses au niveau des réglages de ma C4 WRC, mais le problème n’est pas là car la voiture me convient tout à fait. Ce week-end, Mikko est un tout petit ton au dessus. Je continue à rouler vite au cas où il se passerait quelque chose, mais mon objectif est maintenant de prendre les huit points de la deuxième place. »

De même, Dani Sordo et Marc Marti consolidaient leur quatrième position : « Nous ne sommes qu’à une dizaine de secondes de Latvala, mais ne nous trompons pas d’objectif. Citroën a besoin de consolider sa position de leader au Championnat du Monde des Constructeurs. Nous ne pouvons pas prendre tous les risques pour un point de différence. »



- Marie-Pierre Rossi , Marek Nawarecki -  photo Willy Weyens
Plus de photos sur automobilsport.com sous PHOTOS SLIDESHOWS et PHOTOS Ecards WRC RALLYES

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/finland-rally-citroen-total-team-sebastien-loeb-dani-sordo-conditions-difficiles---67452.html

01.08.2009 / MaP

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