Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastien Ogier falter in France
Citroen Junior's Kimi Raikkonen endured a difficult second day on Rallye de France. Photo: Willy Weyens - Rallyworld
While targeting another podium on the roads of the Rallye de France-Alsace, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia were forced to retire during the second loop of stages. Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom were also stopped in their tracks after going off the road.
After completing a promising opening day, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia set off third on the road and fought at the front throughout this morning's loop of four stages. The route took competitors through the foothills of the Vosges and towards the Pays d'Ormont stage: the longest of the rally at 35.48 competitive kilometres.
Ogier, who is currently second in the World Championship for drivers, set third-fastest and then fourth- fastest time on the opening two stages to reduce the gap to Dani Sordo until the final few kilometres.
"The stages were all very different to each other today," said Julien Ingrassia. "The key was to find the right pace and then stick to it, despite the constant changes of grip. We were fighting with Dani (Sordo) when we went off three kilometres from the end of the long stage. It was a really tricky place under the trees, where there was a lot of mud. The car suddenly oversteered. Sebastien wasn't able to brake for the next left so we ended up hitting a tree."
While Sebastien and Julien were able to get going again without further damage to their Citroen C4 WRC, they lost nearly 10 seconds that denied them the chance of getting close to Dani Sordo.
After the service halt, the Frenchmen set a fastest time on Klevener 2 before breaking a suspension strut. They were able to reach the finish of SS10, but were then forced to retire on the following stage. The number 7 Citroen C4 WRC will re-start the final day under the SupeRally rules.
Kimi Raikkonen did not have as good a road position as his team mate on day two, and had to contend with a very dirty surface. In Ungersberg 1 (SS10), the Finn went off the road at slow speed but the car remained beached for a long time. "It was a really dirty place that we must have taken at about 20kph," explained his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. "The car slid wide and just got stuck in the mud. A dozen or so spectators came to help us, but they weren't enough."
Kimi lost more than 35 minutes but remained in the rally. "In some places the roads were so muddy that we couldn't even see the asphalt," he said. "The first cars don't have the same conditions as us, but that's just how it is. Now we need to keep on going and try to make more progress."
In the afternoon, having set a sixth-fastest time on Ungersberg 2 (SS14), Kimi went off the road on Pays d'Ormont 2 (SS15). Once more the car was undamaged, but this time the Finnish crew were not able to get it back on the road to finish the day. Kimi chose not to re-start the final day under the SupeRally regulations.
Fonte: rallybuzz.com/ Red Bull
Definitivamente não vem sendo um bom fim de semana para os pilotos da equipe Citroën Junior.