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Loeb, Elena et Citroën sur le podium en Finlande

Loeb, Elena et Citroën sur le podium en Finlande

02.08.2009: La courte troisième journée du Rallye de Finlande n’a pas apporté de bouleversement en tête de la course. Deuxièmes du classement général depuis vendredi matin, Sébastien Loeb et Daniel Elena terminent


Neste Rally Finland (30 juillet – 2 août 2009) – Jour 3



La courte troisième journée du Rallye de Finlande n’a pas apporté de bouleversement en tête de la course. Deuxièmes du classement général depuis vendredi matin, Sébastien Loeb et Daniel Elena terminent l’épreuve à cette position, ce qui leur permet de se maintenir dans la course à leur propre succession. Quatrièmes, Dani Sordo et Marc Marti apportent de précieux points à Citroën, toujours en tête du Championnat du Monde des Constructeurs.

Avec moins de 50 kilomètres chronométrés, la dernière journée du Rallye de Finlande était bien moins intense que les deux premières. Les équipages enchainaient quatre spéciales sans assistance : Hannula, puis deux passages dans Myhinpää et la classique ES télévisée de Ruuhimäki pour terminer.

Pour autant, les équipages du Citroën Total World Rally Team ne prenaient pas cet exercice à la légère. Au point stop de Hannula, Sébastien Loeb provoquait une petite montée d’adrénaline au sein de l’équipe française en lâchant dix secondes d’un coup. « Ce n’est qu’une petite panne d’oreiller », plaisantait Seb. « Ne pouvant plus jouer la victoire à la régulière, je suis parti sur un rythme un peu trop prudent. »

Dans Myhinpää 1, le quintuple Champion du Monde rectifiait le tir en signant son septième temps scratch du rallye. Les C4 du Citroën Total World Rally Team signaient d’ailleurs le doublé dans cette spéciale grâce à Dani Sordo : « Evidemment, l’équipe m’a demandé de ne pas prendre tous les risques, mais je continue à attaquer un minimum pour maintenir la pression sur Latvala. On ne sait jamais… »

Après un parc de regroupement, le second passage dans Myhinpää rapprochait un peu plus les concurrents de l’arrivée. Au point stop de Ruuhimäki, Sébastien Loeb tenait à féliciter Mikko Hirvonen pour sa victoire : « Même si je préfère gagner, il n’y avait pas grand chose d’autre à faire ce week-end. Mikko a fait une course parfaite sur ‘son’ rallye, en étant à la limite d’un bout à l’autre. Nous perdons deux points supplémentaires au Championnat, ce sera serré jusqu’au bout. »

 

Au pied du podium, Dani Sordo pouvait également tirer un bilan positif : « C’est un peu dommage de ne pas avoir été en mesure de conserver la troisième position, mais je retiendrai les moments où nous pouvions rivaliser avec les pilotes en lice pour la victoire. Plus qu’ailleurs, l’expérience est essentielle sur ce rallye et j’ai senti que j’avais franchi une nouvelle marche cette année. »

« Des quatre manches restantes, c’est celle que nous redoutions le plus. Nous avons tout simplement été battus par plus fort que nous », reconnaissait Olivier Quesnel, Directeur de Citroën Racing. « Seb et Daniel ont pourtant effectué une course parfaite. Grâce à Dani, nous ne concédons que trois points au Championnat du Monde des Constructeurs, où notre situation est toujours enviable avec 14 unités d’avance. Je tiens par ailleurs à féliciter Martin Prokop, qui permet à la C2 Super 1600 d’obtenir un second titre consécutif en JWRC. »


-Marie-Pierre Rossi ,lMarek Nawarecki -  photos copyright Willy Weyens

Photos aussi sur automobilsport.com sous PHOTOS SLIDESHOWS et PHOTOS Ecards WRC RALLYES

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/finlande-rallye-loeb-elena-citroen-podium-championnat-constructeurs-pilotes---67509.html

02.08.2009 / MaP

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