After the long trip to New Zealand, the World Rally Championship gets back to European soil this weekend. The Rallye de Portugal, round six of the season. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström have not done a rally for a month now, but they will aim to continue their progress with the Citroen C4 WRC.
The Citroën Junior Team driver starts the Rallye de Portugal lying fourth in the World Championship standings and his objectives remain unchanged. New Zealand did not form part of the scheduled programme for Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström, who return to the Citroën C4 WRC in Portugal. The former F1 World Champion will continue learning how to drive a WRC challenger on gravel over the demanding Portuguese stages. Having retired in Mexico, finished eighth in Jordan and claimed fifth in Turkey, the 30-year-old Finn will have to get to grips with another new event for him in Portugal, one of the classic rounds of the World Rally Championship.
“The short break did me a lot of good,” said Kimi. “We were able to sit down and analyse our start to the season, concentrating on specific details such as making pace notes and comparing our times to those of the frontrunners. A few kilometres of testing also meant that I was able to quickly get back up to speed in the car. I know that we still have a lot to learn because rallying remains a completely new sport for me, but I feel that we are making consistent progress.”
In Portugal, for his fifth event at the wheel of the Citroën C4 WRC, Kimi Räikkönen is also retaining the same targets. “I said from the very start that it was just a question of learning,” he pointed out. “We need to have everything in hand before trying to accelerate and chase the leaders. So it is necessary for us to get more and more experience. That’s going to be our goal in Portugal once more.”
In order to prepare for round five of the season, both drivers took part in a gravel test session in eastern France.
With thanks to Citroën Racing Communication.