The Citroen Junior Team was able to celebrate a successful start to the World Rally Championship season in Sweden, with Sebastien Ogier impressing en-route to fifth place and Kimi Raikkonen making progress during his WRC debut for the team.
On his first outing in Sweden, Ogier secured fifth place on the opening morning of action and maintained his position throughout three days of challenging action to open his account for the season.
“This is a great result to start the season with,” the Frenchman said. “I'd like to thank the entire team, which has done an exceptional job. The first day of the rally went perfectly for us and we quickly got up to a good pace. Afterwards, we just needed to look after our end result.
“The initial objective was simply to be there at the finish in order to accumulate experience on what was a brand new rally for us. As it is, this fifth place is a result that gives us plenty of confidence for the rest of the season. Now we need to continue making progress, starting from the next round in Mexico.”
Former F1 title winner Raikkonen saw his hopes for a strong result ended on the opening day when he went off into a snowbank and lost time, but the Finn produced a series of encouraging stage times through the remainder of the event, even though he finished down in 30th place.
“We've made progress during this event,” he said. “It was important for our experience to finish this first rally of our WRC season. We lost a bit of time with the snowbanks but the main thing was to get through all the special stages. We always knew that Sweden was never going to be an easy rally for us to start the season with. But now we are able to prepare for the next event.
“I haven't driven the Citroen C4 WRC on gravel yet, but I hope that we can be more consistent in Mexico.”