CitroŽn out to continue its winning streak
Following its absence from the 2008 calendar, the Rally de Portugal returns to the FIA World Rally Championship this year. For CitroŽn Total WRT, which saw both its C4 WRCs finish on the podium here two years ago, this weekendís encounter will provide a pointer to the real potential of the different runners and riders on the loose. Sťbastien Loeb and Daniel Elena have yet to be beaten in 2009 and will looking to build on their current run. For Dani Sordo and Marc Marti, the proximity of Spain will be an added source of motivation as they target a top-three finish.

The Rally de Portugal is one of world class rallyingís classic fixtures, and this year sees it return to the WRC fold with a significantly revised route and the Estadio Algarve as its epicentre. The stadium will also serve as backdrop for the super-special which is always a highlight for the connoisseur Portuguese spectators.

After claiming victory on the first three rounds of the 2009 championship, Sťbastien Loeb and Daniel Elena go to the first all-gravel showdown of the year intent on continuing their winning streak. "The CitroŽn C4 WRC is competitive on all the different types of surface, as our recent successes in the rain in Ireland, on snow in Norway and on the mixed-surface Cyprus Rally show," observes the five-time World Champion. "Portugal marks the return of a more conventional format. If we are competitive here, it would suggest that we are also likely to be strong on the yearís other gravel rounds."

In addition to adding a second Rally de Portugal success to his name, Sťbastien Loeb will be targeting his 51st WRC victory: "I start every event with the intention of winning. We will push hard from the start and see how things unfoldÖ"

With a score of 17 points to their name, Dani Sordo and Marc Marti have got their 2009 campaign off to a flying start and have high hopes for the fourth round of the season: "There are plenty of new stages, but I enjoy this rally which is very varied. The stages are narrow in places, and fast and wider in others. Itís a concentrate of what we will find in Argentina, Greece and Sardinia later in the year."

During his visit to the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, Dani Sordo will be able to count on the support of fans who make the trip from Spain: "If only for them, I will give it my very best shot. Itís always nice to feel their support behind me. As in 2007, my aim will be to finish on the podium."

The Rally de Portugal marks the debut of the 2009-homologated C4 WRC. Both CitroŽn Total World Rally Team cars will feature small modifications to the engine, gearbox and suspension.

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