Rally Catalunya: Important fourth place for Ostberg

Citroen's Mads Ostberg finishes fourth in Spain to scoop his best WRC result since taking second in Sardinia back in June
Mads Ostberg claimed an “important” fourth place finish on Rally de Espana this weekend.

Ostberg has struggled in the second half of the season, but put in a fine performance in Spain, finishing the opening day in third, before dropping back to P4, 31.1 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen.

The result moves the Norwegian up from seventh to fifth in the Drivers' Championship, one point ahead of Thierry Neuville and eight up on Citroen team-mate Kris Meeke.

“It has been a very good weekend. This fourth place is an important result for the team and for me. We were competitive on gravel [on Friday] and we held our position on tarmac [on Saturday and Sunday]. I'm really pleased to finish fourth overall,” said Ostberg.

“I'm really looking forward to the start of Wales Rally GB now. If I have the same feeling as on Friday we will be able to push for something great.”

Meanwhile, Meeke was classified 19th under Rally 2, having had to retire in SS3 on Friday when he suffered a double puncture. He still scored points, however, after finishing second in the Power Stage, his sixth top-three stage time of the event.

“I'm very proud of my performance during this rally. It's just a shame that we weren't able to be in the fight to score big points. The double puncture at the start of the rally, with only one spare tyre on board, has proven very costly,” Meeke lamented.

“But we had the chance to rejoin the race. We had to refocus and the times were very encouraging. It was important to show that we were on the pace with a few second places on the stages. That will also be useful for the future.”

Citroen deputy team boss, Marek Nawarecki added: “After a bit of a tough start to the rally, it was essential on today's final leg to take home some important points for the Manufacturers' standings.

“Mads achieved his target in defending his fourth position right to the end. He managed to drive at a sustained pace on tarmac. Kris also proved that he could be quick in setting a few second-fastest times.

“Rally de Espana therefore ends on a positive note for us. And that's important for the rest of the season. We'll head into the final round of the season with confidence and ready to defend our second place in the championship.”

Citroen will go into Rally GB seven points up on M-Sport (187 points versus 180), while Hyundai is only five points further adrift in fourth.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)

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