Citroen Score Their Second Consecutive Podium
The Citroen Racing Total World Rally Rally team picked up their secpnd podium finish of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season at Rally Sweden on Sunday courtesy of Esapekka Lappi.
Lappi ended the rally just ahead of Hyundai Motorsports Thierry Neuville and speaking following the action he said:
I knew after testing that we had worked well and that was confirmed during this rally, which I really enjoy. The conditions this weekend were nonetheless quite a bit different so we gradually worked on improving the set-up of our C3 WRC, which helped us to feel increasingly confident in the car and to up our pace as we completed more of the stages. I’m delighted with this result. It kick starts our season and augurs really well for the rest of the year!”
Sebastien Ogier finished the event in 29th place following a tough rally for the defending WRC champion and speaking following the rally he said:
Obviously, I had hoped for a better result, but it’s always difficult to do well when you open the road here. A lot of the crews hit the snow banks, including us. We were also a bit unlucky in that we got stuck in one of the rare spots where there were no spectators. We did our very best on the Power Stage, even though once again the conditions were far from ideal for us. I’m already focused on Mexico.”
Citroen Total World Rally Team Principal Pierre Budar commented by saying:
We knew how tough it would be for them to open the road here, where grip levels on the stages tend to increase as more cars complete. Sure enough, that’s how it was working out, although they were doing very well up until they made their minor mistake. They nonetheless reacted well, refusing to be discouraged and working with the team on getting to know the C3 WRC. Indeed, their unwavering determination was rewarded on the Power Stage. Like Esapekka and Janne, they also proved – with three stage wins – that our car, having finished second here last year, is definitely at ease on these stages. And yet it is a tough event to get to grips with, given that we don’t race on ice and snow very often at all. We are encouraged to continue with our efforts and keep our good form going in Mexico, where we can expect the fight at the front to be at least as intense as it was here.
Budar concluded by saying:
Throughout the weekend, the atmosphere in the cockpit of our C3 WRC was one of calm relaxation, concentration and determination, and this morning was no different! I was convinced that we were capable of finishing second, but I’m also too familiar with the world of rallying to know it’s never over until it’s over… We pushed all the way, tackling each stage in turn without getting ahead of ourselves. Each time we reached the end of the Likenas stage, even before I had seen the time, I was pleased because I felt that we had given everything and the times reflected that. It’s a test where you have to literally let it all go and I knew that Esapekka had been totally committed and pushed to the max!”