04 Feb 08
For the Swedish Rally, Citroen has entered C4 WRCs for its usual line-up of Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti. And following a win on the season opener in Monte Carlo, the French team is hoping to extend its lead at the top of both manufacturers and drivers contests with a strong performance on the white stuff.
The Swedish Rally's gently undulating, flowing roads have long been a hit with teh team's lead driver, Sebastien Loeb, who in 2004 became the only non Nordic driver to win the event in its 57-year history. This year will be Loeb?s eighth attempt at the rally, and he's hoping to go one better than the second place he scored in 2007
"Competing on these extremely fast, icy stages is sheer delight," said Loeb. Controlling long, high-speed power-slides, setting up the car for corners and using the snow banks to stay on line is a great experience. When the studs give good grip, it really is a fantastic rally."
The Swedish Rally will see Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena line up for the start of their 100th world class event together: "It's a nice round figure, but it's not that important to me," said Loeb. "Our objective will be to try to win, which won't be easy. For one thing, we will start the weekend running first on the road and that can often be a handicap in Sweden. Our rivals will also be out to draw level after the Monte Carlo Rally and I'm expecting a close fight. Sure, it would be nice to celebrate our 100th start with a win but scoring points in both championships will also be important and I will base my pace on the way the rally unfolds"
Dani Sordo has not had such a good record on the WRC's annual trip to Sweden. The Spaniard has attempted it twice before, coming 16th in 2006 and 12th in 2007. "When the studs bite, you can do what you want with your car and it's tremendous fun," said Sordo. "However, if a coating of snow prevents the studs from digging in, it can be more difficult to be precise in your driving. And when you add the extremely high speeds we reach in Sweden into the equation, then this clearly isn't an easy event. It calls for significant experience of this sort of terrain and it's no coincidence that few non-Nordic drivers have won in Karlstad. This will be my third attempt and my objective will be to score points for Citroen."