CITROňN STORMS INTO THE LEAD IN RALLY AUSTRALIA
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  1. #1
    UFO
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    CITROňN STORMS INTO THE LEAD IN RALLY AUSTRALIA

    Citroen has taken the lead in Rally Australia 2003 with the sensational
    Sebastian Loeb putting in four fastest stage times on the first full day of
    competition and taking the lead - the first time in his career he has lead
    a gravel event - on stage eight.

    CitroŽn and Loeb have only ever competed in Rally Australia once before,
    when the talented Frenchman came to Perth last year for a test programme in
    preparation for this year's event and did the rally after the testing. He
    finished an impressive seventh.

    Not that CitroŽn and Loeb are doing it with out Australian help. Loeb's
    CitroŽn Xsara WRC, and those of team mates Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae, is
    fitted with a secret weapon developed by Australian company Kinetic. The
    hydraulic anti-roll bar not just enables the CitroŽn Xsara to go faster on
    the stages, but it also provides additional confidence for the driver with
    boosted stability, all essential in Australia's unique conditions, with
    which CitroŽn and Loeb has so little experience.

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    "It's really fantastic!" said CitroŽn team boss Guy Frťquelin at the end of
    day one. "But Sťbastien doesn't surprise me anymore, because I know he's
    able to achieve excellent results."

    However, the 2002 edition of Rally Australia does not hold found memories
    for the young French driver.

    "Last year I felt this had been the toughest event of the year; and I never
    felt at ease," he explains. "Today I'm the first to be surprised both by
    our times and also by the very good feeling I have with the car. This
    confidence simply comes from the fact that the team has done a great job.
    The tests undergone after Rally Finland really paid off. Since the
    shakedown my Xsara has been perfect and I haven't changed a single thing."

    Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz experienced a tougher day. As Carlos did not
    feel 100% confident in the first loop of stages, he changed the dampers for
    the following set and also fitted harder tyres. He was not entirely
    satisfied by the modifications and he reverted to his original set-up for
    the final group of stages. He adopted a higher pace but the blinding sunset
    caused him to make a mistake in a left corner where he rolled and lost
    about twenty seconds. His Xsara was not damaged in the incident, and the
    Spaniard is ready for tomorrow's action.

    Colin McRae encountered brake problems from the start of the day, which
    were solved before the second loop of stages when the team discovered it
    was due to faulty calipers. Colin and Derek Ringer lie in eighth position
    overnight and will fight back on day two to score valuable points for
    CitroŽn in the Manufacturer's Championship.

    LEG 1
    Stage wins:
    SS1 : Petter Solberg (Subaru Impreza) - SS2 and SS3 : Marcus GrŲnholm
    (Peugeot 206) - SS4 : Markko Mšrtin (Ford Focus) - SS5 and SS6 : Sťbastien
    Loeb (CitroŽn Xsara ) - SS7 : P. Solberg - SS8 : S. Loeb and P. Solberg -
    SS9 : S. Loeb - SS10 : FranÁois Duval (Ford Focus).
    Leaders
    SS1 : P. Solberg - SS2 to SS7 : M. GrŲnholm - SS8 to SS10 : S. Loeb
    Positions of the Xsaras (with time differences stage by stage )

    Overall classification after leg 1

    1. S. Loeb - D. Elena (CitroŽn Xsara) 1 h 23 mn 52,4 s
    2. P. Solberg - Ph Mills (Subaru Impreza) + 3,9 s
    3. R. Burns - R. Reid ( Peugeot 206) + 39,1 s
    4. T. Mškinen - K. Lindstrom (Subaru Impreza) + 1 mn 00,2 s
    5. M. Mšrtin - M. Park (Ford Focus) + 1 mn 05 s
    6. C. Sainz - M. Marti (CitroŽn Xsara) + 1 mn 12,6 s
    7. C. McRae - D. Ringer (CitroŽn Xsara) + 1 mn 25 s
    8. H. Rovanperš - R. Pietilainen (Peugeot 206) + 1 mn 52,9 s
    9. F. Loix - S. Smeets (Hyundai Accent) + 2 mn 41,6 s
    10. D. Auriol - D. Giraudet (Skoda Fabia) + 2 mn 52,7 s

    Day Two
    Saturday 6 September
    Second leg : 515,13 km including 124 km timed.
    Start in Perth at 07.30
    10 special stages
    Service in Jarrahdale at 8.28, 12.51, 16.44.
    Regroup in Jarrahdale at 12.21 and 18.27
    Finish of leg 2 in Perth at 19.58

    head_ban citroen_ head_ban citroen_
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  2. #2
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    We are just going from strength to strength... head_ban citroen_ head_ban

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Yes.

    Poor Marcus GrŲnholm went off the road while in the lead I gather. Great to see the cits doing so well though.

    I've often wondered what the relationship between the two PSA rally teams is like "behind the scenes". Must be some interesting games played I would guess.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Maybe this is Citroen's weekend......I understand there's a certain BX series one 16V running faily competitively in its class at the Pittsworth Sprints. dance dance deal whistle

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    And they sound bloody amazing from a few feet away over a crest at full throttle...
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    I gather we stormed out of the lead in the end!

    Curse that Subaru! Still 4 out of the top 5 between Cit and Pug isn't bad.Burns in his Peugeot retains the overall lead too and Peugeot and Citroen are level pegging in the lead for the constructors championship.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Rod's Home Page

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  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! WRX2PUG's Avatar
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    The frenchies certainly did well but Petter was stormng big-time towards the end - his jumps at Sotico were just awesome.

    I have to say having watched all the rally cars over the 3 days that the Citroen definitely seems to have more acceleration out of the corners. I'm not sure how much of this is due to the WA-made kinetic suspension and how much is just additional acceleration that they've managed to achieve, but it is a tangible, noticeable difference. I sensed this when I initially watched the cars side-by side at Gloucester Park and then watching them yesterday at Sotico at the start and accelerating out of the corners.

    Got full of dust, absolutely soaked by the rain - loved it

    Cheers
    Steve
    Renault Clio F1R27 road car and Supercharged Lotus Elise track car

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