Citroen boss apologises to Loeb

Citroen Racing director Olivier Quesnel has issued a personal apology to his number one driver Sebastien Loeb after the Frenchman was demoted to second on Repco Rally Australia due to a technical infringement.

Loeb had took a brilliant win, 12.5 seconds up on Mikko Hirvonen, however six hours after the official finish, he lost the victory when the stewards received a report from the FIA technical delegate stating that the front anti-roll bar link on his car did not match the C4 WRC's homologation form.

He was subsequently handed a one-minute penalty, as was Dani Sordo and Sebastien Ogier, the latter dropping from fourth to fifth as a result.

"We accept the decision given that the photo on the homologation form does not match the part fitted to the car," Quesnel stated.

"The difference had no effect on either the performance or reliability of the car; it was simply due to an administrative error and does not stem from any desire to cheat.

"On behalf of the team, I would personally like to apologise to Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who scored a superb victory on the stages this weekend."

Meanwhile Loeb was not exactly pleased, but he has vowed to keep on fighting in his bid to win his sixth drivers' crown.

"I am obviously disappointed, but you've got to accept it when the regulations are applied," he added.

"Instead of being just one point behind Mikko Hirvonen, I now have a five-point deficit to make up. That clearly complicates matters regarding our bid to win a sixth title, but this won't have any effect on our determination to win in Spain."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Olivier Quesnel (Fra) Citroen Total WRT CitroenC4   Rd 10 WRC Repco Rally Australia Tweed Valley NSW Australia
Olivier Quesnel (Fra) Citroen Total WRT CitroenC4   Rd 10 WRC Repco Rally Australia Tweed Valley NSW Australia
Oliver Quesnel, Director, Citroen Sport & Daniel Elena
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Staggaboy - Unregistered

September 08, 2009 6:46 PM

No difference in performance you say tell that to Ford in 2007 who received 5 minute penalties for a miniscule weight difference on the rear side windows of the cars due to a manufacturing flaw. Some say less weight but the car had to pass minimum weight at scruteneering. Hence no performance advantage gained. Citroen shoud have been given the same penalty atleast.

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