Vide
Jok 160X600

WRC – Craig Breen claims fine fourth place

Craig Breen and Scott Martin produced a battling final day performance to clinch a richly deserved fourth place. Meanwhile, Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen had to settle for eighth overall, a position that did not reflect their strong pace this weekend.

With just 13.5s between the top four, today’s final leg promised to be very hotly contested, especially as the day began with the brand new Elsi stage (10.06km), a really narrow, technical and muddy test…

In conditions like these, it’s never easy to really go for it but Craig Breen, starting the day 1.7s behind the third-placed driver, decided to be bold. After a good opening stage, he was unfortunately caught out by the slippery conditions on the next speed test (SS20) and made a small mistake. He nonetheless managed to hang onto fourth position until the end of the event, securing a fine result for Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT in a C3 WRC that once again proved to be fast and reliable.

Also engaged in a no-holds-barred battle for fifth place, Mads Østberg vigorously attempted to hold off his rivals. Further proof, if any were needed, that Citroën was very competitive this weekend. However, a spin on SS22 meant that he dropped down the standings, finishing in eighth place due to the very narrow gaps between the drivers. 

WHAT THEY SAID

Craig Breen : « I’m pleased with my weekend, I really gave it everything this morning but the other guys were just faster than us. It was important to get a result for the team. I’m now going to try and build on it and keep the momentum going at the last couple of rallies so we can finish the season as strongly as possible. And given that I have a bit of preference for tarmac, I’m already really looking forward to Spain! »

Mads Østberg :  « Although we had a few difficulties putting it all together, we had some very good stages this weekend, winning one speed test and setting several other good times. We never gave up and tried to stay in touch with the leading crews. It’s a shame that we were a little bit unlucky today. A minor mistake has ended up proving very costly. »

FINAL PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

  1. Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 
  2. Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +10.6
  3. Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +35.1
  4. Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) +1:10.4
  5. Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:14.4
  6. Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:15.9
  7. Paddon / Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:18.4
  8. Ostberg / Eriksen (Citroën C3 WRC) +1:21.6

DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

  1. Thierry Neuville – 189 points
  2. Sébastien Ogier – 182 points
  3. Ott Tänak – 168 points
  4. Esapekka Lappi – 104 points
  5. Jari-Matti Latvala – 98 points
  6. Andreas Mikkelsen – 83 points
  7. Dani Sordo – 60 points
  8. Craig Breen – 59 points
  9. Hayden Paddon – 55 points
  10. Temu Suninen – 54 points
  11. Elfyn Evans – 53 points
  12. Mads Ostberg – 52 points

MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

  1. Toyota Gazoo Racing – 317 points
  2. Hyundai WRT – 297 points
  3. M-Sport Ford WRT – 273 points
  4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT – 187 points

A sharp learning curve for the C3 R5 in typically welsh conditions

Despite the unfamiliar road surface and competing in conditions it has yet to meet in testing, the C3 R5 still showed glimpses of its potential in Wales, especially when driven by Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau. The brand’s works crew ended the weekend fifth in the WRC2 following a puncture. With constant changes in grip, greasy and wet gravel roads that become increasingly slippery as more cars complete, to the point where the roads turn into an ice staking rink in places, Wales Rally GB is a truly unique event. It is no surprise then, on the debut outing of the C3 R5 at this highly specific event, that Citroën Racing gathered a huge amount of data during the weekend. Precious information and feedback that will doubtless be very useful to Citroën’s racing customers. Stéphane Lefebvre, Citroën’s works driver, moved to within striking distance of the leaders in fourth place after the opening stage, before confirming his hopes of a podium with the third fastest time on SS4 (16.95km). Determined to be one of the front-runners, the 26 year-old French ace scored another third fastest time on the repeat of the Penmachno stage, reaching the end of day one in fourth place in the WRC2. Unfortunately, a puncture at the start of day two (SS11) saw him drop down to fifth position in the category. Ole Christian Veiby, the 22 year-old private Norwegian driver making his debut in the C3 R5, took over where Stéphane had left off to set another third fastest time, just 3.8s off the stage-winning time on the twenty-odd kilometres of Dyfi. His impressive performance provided further evidence that Citroën’s new flagship model is easy to get to grips with, even in the most difficult racing conditions. Whilst working on improving the set-up of his car in conjunction with the technical team, Stéphane maintained his good form on Sunday, grabbing another third fastest time, tied with Veiby, and finishing the weekend in fifth place in the WRC2. Meanwhile, Simone Tempestini, Citroën’s second private customer competing in Wales, ended the rally in seventh position. As regards Ole Christian Veiby, he ended the rally in eleventh position, having rejoined under Rally 2 rules on Sunday after breaking a suspension component in an impact (SS15). WHAT THEY SAID
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal : « It is almost impossible to reproduce the highly specific conditions of this rally in testing. We learned a lot this weekend, whilst enjoying exceptional reliability and managing to show promising speed on a few occasions. It has been a useful new experience and one that will help us to keep improving. » Stéphane Lefebvre : « Although obviously I had been hoping to do better than fifth place, I’m pleased to have made it to the end without making any mistakes and scored some points, whilst continuing to work on the set-up of the C3 R5. We still have some fine-tuning to do, but it is important to rack up the miles on this kind of surface, because that’s what has helped us to clearly identify the areas we need to keep working on. »

Press release Citroën Racing

]]>

Related posts