Citroen's Dani Sordo took the laurels on the O.K. Auto-Ralli on Saturday, using the event as a warm-up for the ninth round in the World Rally Championship, namely the Neste Oil Rally Finland.

Sordo dominated the one-day event, which was based in the Kouvola region to the southeast of Jyv?skyl?, and set the pace in virtually all of the eight stages, eventually beating his closest rival by over 1 minute.

Speaking at the finish, Sordo was clearly pleased and it should stand him in good stead now for his fourth run on the 'Rally of 1000 Lakes', an event where experience is absolutely critical to compete with the local home-grown stars.

"Throughout the day, I concentrated hard on the notes being called out by Marc [Marti]," said Dani. "I felt confident with the car and its set-up worked well on this sort of terrain.

"It rained before the start and there were further showers during the event, so the stages were quite wet. We profited from that to collect some useful data because these conditions were new to us.

"As for me, this rally enabled me to gain extra experience of this sort of surface and of the Finnish stages, which is good for my confidence as we prepare for our next WRC outing. Although it wasn't our objective, it was nice to win. It's my first victory in a WRC car, and my first with Marc and the C4. I hope it's just a start!"

Citroen Sport's chassis manager Laurent Fregosi meanwhile was pleased with the extra feedback and data accumulated. Indeed Citroen said its technical staff left Scandinavia with 'the impression that a valuable job had been done' in readiness for the forthcoming Neste Oil Rally Finland.

"Today's outing was beneficial on two accounts," added Fregosi. "While Dani and Marc were busy getting kilometres under their belt at rally speed, we were able to validate the settings established during the tests we carried out before the start and that is very useful."

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