Conrad Rautenbach day one review

25.04.2008: Conrad Rautenbach day one review

Jordan Rally FIA World Rally Championship, round 5/15

Dead Sea, Jordan
Day one
Stages: 8
Weather: Sunny
Temperature range: 21-36 Celsius
Time difference: Jordan is GMT +3hours


After playing himself into Jordan Rally's unique conditions for the first two stages, Conrad Rautenbach moved into the top 10 positions on the day's third test and remained there until the end of the competitive action. Unfortunately for the reigning FIA African Rally Champion, a clutch problem after the end of the eighth and final stage of the day forced him into retirement.

Rautenbach and his British co-driver David Senior will return for the second day tomorrow, albeit with a 10-minute penalty under the SupeRally regulations. Through the morning, a fourth-stage spin had been Rautenbach's only problem, but the re-run loop of stages, in the afternoon, turned out to be much tougher for the man currently eighth in the drivers' World Rally Championship standings.

A broken damper caused handling problems aboard the C4 for stages seven and eight. Rautenbach was then forced to keep an eye on the rising water temperature, before the clutch failed at the end of the Mal'n test.

Unable to drive the car back to service, his day ended at the end of SS8.


The PH Sport team worked on the suspension and differential settings of the Citroen C4 WRC at lunchtime service to gain more consistent handling in the afternoon. The car suffered a broken front-left damper in stage seven. The car's water temperature was high in the final two stages of the day and the clutch broke on SS8.

Conrad Rautenbach quote:

"That's so frustrating! To get through all of the day's stages, but then not to be able to get back to service is such bad news. The morning was tough, but we didn't have any major problems. On the second stage, I tried to shut my door, but it wouldn't close properly.

This was 10 seconds before we were due to start the stage, so in the end, I just closed it as best I could and got on with it. Unfortunately, this meant I hadn't put the car into launch mode for the start and it was playing on my mind a little bit, wondering if the door was going to fly open on the first corner. After that, it was just the changing grip level which caught my attention.

I was quite surprised, I thought it would be more constant, but we were finding good grip in the braking area, but as soon as I turned into the corner it was loose again. I lost about 10 seconds with the spin in stage four. The car started to slide and I thought it was going to be set-up nicely for the corner, but as soon as I leaned on the car in the corner, the back came around.

"The afternoon was really tough, though. There were a lot more rocks out in the road second time around and with the damper broken, it was hard work for the car. The problem with the clutch didn't come until the end of the stage (SS8). We'd completed the stage and then tried to drive off up the road, but there was nothing [from the clutch].

There was a steep uphill section straight after the stage, so there was no chance of us getting up there. It's so frustrating, but we'll get the car sorted tonight and make another start tomorrow."

- Conrad Rautenbach press -


25.04.2008 / MaP

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