WRC »

Ireland - leg 1: Loeb and Citroen sitting pretty?

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb concluded the opening leg of the inaugural Rally Ireland on Friday poised to take the victory - and seize the advantage in the battle for the 2007 drivers' title.

Loeb's bid to take his fourth world crown received a boost on the first loop this morning, when his chief championship rival, Marcus Gronholm crashed out heavily towards the end of SS4.

Although Gronholm was taken to hospital, along with his co-driver, Timo Rautiainen for precautionary checks, both were subsequently given the all-clear and released.

Seb meanwhile, having lost out to Marcus last night in the short Stormont Super Special, immediately took over at the top this morning on the first 'proper' test, the 11.48 kilometre-dash through Geevagh 1.

He was unable to hold off his team-mate, Daniel Sordo however in SS3 and dropped behind the Spaniard in SS4, when he was again 'only' second quickest.

Loeb was hampered early on though by a rear left suspension problem and once this was fixed he bounced back in the middle loop, retaking the lead in second run through Geevagh.

Following that the Frenchman extended his margin further in SS6 and although he lost out to Sordo in SS7, he returned to the second service of the day with a 6.8 second cushion.

The final loop was again all about Loeb and Sordo, and while Sordo cut the gap to just 3 seconds following SS9, Seb finished the day with a flourish and took the margin back to just over 10 seconds.

All-in-all it was a top day for Citroen, as Loeb and Sordo won every single test for the French manufacturer - taking five wins apiece.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rally Ireland. 15-18th November 2007.
Daniel Sordo (ESP) / Marc Marti (ESP), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rally Ireland. 15-18th November 2007.
Marcus Gronholm (FIN) / Timo Rautiainen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06. Rally Ireland. 15-18th November 2007.
Esapekka Lappi and Skoda celebrate in Ireland
Esapekka Lappi - Skoda
Craig Breen - Peugeot
Robert Barrable
Daniel McKenna
Sepp Wiegand - Skoda
Josh Moffett
Esapekka Lappi - Skoda
Craig Breen - Peugeot
Robert Barrable
Josh Moffett
Daniel McKenna
Chris Ingram
Mark Higgins will drive the new JRM Subaru WRX
Henning Solberg (NOR) Ilka Minor (AUT), Ford Fiesta WRC

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.