This year’s Rally Finland was driven at a frantic pace and at the end of it the Citroën Junior Team managed to place its two C4 WRCs in the points. Dani Sordo and Marc Marti finished fifth, reinforcing their position in the World Championship for drivers.
Despite a mistake at the beginning of day two, Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström got to the finish with another 310 kilometres of valuable experience under their belts. The second day of the Rally Finland got underway at 0550. After a 15-minute service, the crews embarked on a long road section in stormy conditions.
By the time they started the stages the roads were still damp.
Kimi Räikkönen was deprived of another top eight finish on the first stage of the day. “We arrived a bit too quickly into a corner at the start of the stage,” he said. “The car slid towards the outside and became stuck in a ditch. It was unfortunately a place where there were no spectators nearby. Several eventually came running to help get us out. We had to change a wheel in order to complete the stage. The front bumper was broken, but there was no other serious damage. We were then able to continue the rally with no further problems.”
Using all the experience he is gradually accumulating, the Finn was able to reduce the gap that separated him from the frontrunners in the afternoon. “It was an extremely difficult rally. During our first passage through the stages, we just concentrated on checking our notes so that we could continue to make progress. As soon as the terrain became a bit more familiar, I was able to up my pace slightly. But there’s still a lot for us to learn before we can really start to go quickly on this type of terrain.”
Citroën Junior Team Manager Benoit Nogier concluded: “The Citroën Junior Team C4 WRCs went like clockwork over both days of the Rally Finland,” he said. “Kimi is continuing his learning curve: he did a very good job on the first day but had a setback on the morning of day two. Afterwards he found his pace again and got closer to the frontrunners. It’s very encouraging for the rest of the season. Dani started off really well as he was in the thick of the lead battle between Latvala, Ogier, Loeb and Solberg. He then lost a bit of concentration and conceded a handful of seconds that ruled him out of the fight for victory. But he didn’t make any mistakes and brought the car home safely at the end of his first rally with our
team. This was an important event for him and he thoroughly succeeded in it.”
The next rally for the Citroën Junior Team will be on asphalt, when Sébastien Ogier and Kimi Räikkönen take the start of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland from 20-22 August.