Loeb takes Jordan triumph

"This is absolutely perfect for the championship," said Solberg. "We lost big time yesterday. This afternoon I calmed down though and I wasn't taking any risks. It's difficult to gain a lot of time here."

Dani Sordo was next up and another 30 seconds or so further back, giving Citroen a 1-3-4 finish: "Today we lost a lot of time but now I feel better than last night as we got fourth. It's really good."

Britain's Matthew Wilson rounded out the top five and took his best result of the season in his Stobart Ford Focus. He ended up over 6.5 minutes off Sordo and conceded that it was a very difficult event.

"It's been a very, very tough rally, more than I remember from two years ago [when the WRC last came to Jordan]," he confirmed. "Today we've been able to cruise through and avoid the big stuff and generally be careful."

Further down the order, Ogier had to settle for sixth overall, and while he gained a place this afternoon, he was disappointed not to be able to try and defend his place on the podium. Indeed without the two penalties (which lost him 8 minutes and 50 seconds) and without having to run first on the road, he would almost certainly have been in the top three.

"I don't like these regulations but there are just two manufacturers and I am young so I do what the boss says," Ogier noted. "But I have proved that I am improving rally after rally. It's been a very good weekend. We had a good run, were quite fast and made no mistakes."

Federico Villagra and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top eight, the latter getting his first points finish of the season – and on only his third outing in the WRC with the Citroen C4 WRC. Raikkonen may have had a few moments, but he again set some promising times, including a sixth best effort on day 2 in SS8.

"The first day was very difficult but after that we decided to take it easy," Raikkonen explained. "It's been a tough rally. I knew it was going to be like that. This rally seems to be very tricky, so it was good to finish."

Of the rest, Henning Solberg was ninth – having lost considerable time on day two with a puncture, while Xavier Pons took tenth in his Ford Fiesta S2000 and the SWRC win.

"This is perfect," said Pons. "I'm surprised, two rallies and two wins. The event wasn't easy but this is a good result for us and the team. Every rally the car gets better. It's a good start."

Related Pictures

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Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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MT Motorsport - Unregistered

April 03, 2010 7:54 PM

I have just read an interesting statement from Seb saying the drivers would like to see some form of qualifying for each event on the shake down. The article is on Autosport and makes perfect sense. I believe the drivers are sick of this as well, they just want to go flat out. In the same publication, the Ford team are taking a pop at Citroen for using tactics. Ford started the ball rolling a couple of seasons ago and in Jordan Citroen used Ogier to counter a move already made by Ford. Fords problem is that they are being outfought driver wise, car wise and now tactic wise. Stop whinging Ford and get a grip of your team.

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