28 Jun 09
A widely expected, Citroen Junior Team driver Conrad Rautenbach deliberately dropped time on the penultimate stage of Rally Poland in order to give his eighth place to fellow Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb.
Rautenbach parked his C4 WRC near the finish of the Tros stage and stayed there for more than 12 minutes, before completing the stage and slotting into ninth overall, 3.3sec behind Loeb.
Loeb retired on the rally's opening day after crashing his C4 WRC into a tree stump. He restarted as a Super Rally entrant on Saturday, but with 20 minutes of penalty time he was way down in 29th place.
Since then he has made good progress up the standings and benefited from the retirement of three Citroens today. Sebastien Ogier's exit on SS16 looked like it would move him to tenth, but he actually got up to ninth when another Citroen Junior driver, Evgeny Novikov was asked to slow on the same stage and let him go ahead.
With just the 2.5km Mikolajki Super Special to go Loeb is on course to take the last drivers' championship point from Poland, and three manufacturers' points for Citroen.
"I will not say it's a good result but earlier on I didn't expect to take even one manufacturers' point here," said Loeb. "The points are very important for me. We don't have too many and maybe one will be very important at the end of the season."
There were no other changes in the top ten positions.