Fastest time for Kimi!
At the end of a perfectly-controlled Rallye Deutschland, the Citroën Junior Team scores a podium for the first time on an asphalt FIA World Rally Championship event. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are third behind the two factory Citroën C4 WRCs. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström finish seventh, having claimed their first fastest stage time in the WRC!
On the third and final day of the rally, there were 85.69 competitive kilometres on the menu. As the cars were getting underway, at 0615, some light rain fell on Trier. Nonetheless, the roads remained dry throughout the morning.
Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström started the final day with a set-up that was a little too soft. “I overhot two junctions and we lost a lot of time,” recounted the Finn. The crew continued to push hard right up to the end, setting their first fastest stage time on the final Circus Maximus Trier stage (SS19). “I’m disappointed at having made the mistake in the morning that cost us a place, ” said Räikkönen. “But I enjoyed the stages on Saturday and Sunday. We’re continuing to rack up experience and that’s very important.”
Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: “We’ve got to the finish of a long and complicated rally with a very solid performance. Competing on their first Rallye Deutschland in a WRC machine, Sébastien and Julien are on the podium. At the start of the season we were just aiming for some podiums on gravel. Our goals have already largely been achieved, with a podium on asphalt to add to our tally as well now. Sébastien and Julien did a great job, coping well with the pressure when they had to go and get past Latvala. Their performance came pretty close to perfection, I would say. Measuring it on his terms, Kimi did virtually just as well. His mistake this morning cost him a place, but we are all delighted with his fastest stage time, which is a real morale booster. Now we’re keen to get over to France, for the next asphalt rally that is going to be an unknown quantity for all the competitors.”
SS19: Circus Maximus (4.37km) Kimi Raikkonen / Kaj Lindstrom 1st 7th +8’55’’0