All four CitroŽn C4 WRCs ready for the off!
Todayís pre-Rally de Portugal shakedown gave CitroŽnís crews a chance to make final fine-tuning adjustments to the set-ups of their respective C4 WRCs. Evgeny Novikov was accredited with the fastest time in the CitroŽn camp, just ahead of Sťbastien Loeb and Dani Sordo.

This morningís conditions were perfect as crews headed south of Loulť for the 5.5km test stage. Sťbastien Loeb and Dani Sordo both reported a preference for a relatively soft set-up for the Portuguese round which kicks off with this afternoonís super-special.

"Everything went well," commented Sťbastien. "Two runs sufficed to check that everything was OK with the car. The test stage was nice, but we will be running first on the road tomorrow, so I think we can expect a fair amount of íroad sweepingí. My tactics will be the same as ever: I will push hard straight away and try to open up as big a gap as possible."

"We ran a fairly hard set-up for the first pass," reported Dani Sordo, "but it didnít give enough grip, so we went a little softer and I felt much more comfortable after that. I was really pleased with my car third time round."

Evgeny Novikov profited from his four runs to emerge as the morningís fastest CitroŽn C4 WRC driver: "I am very pleased. The morning went well and I think weíve got a good set-up for the weekend. The stages are very slippery."

Sťbastien Ogier felt that the test stage didnít really resemble the stages he discovered during recce: "The shakedown was very sandy, unlike the conditions we face this weekend. Like the weather, though, the stage itself was perfect. Itís nice to be taking part in such a great rally."

Conrad Rautenbach had a more troubled morning. The Zimbabwe-based driver returned to service with a broken upper strut-mounting: "I braked a little too late for a fourth-gear right-hander which came just after a fast left, and we hit a tree. My car wasnít too badly damaged but we thought it best not to continue. It didnít take the team long to make the necessary repairs and we were able to complete one last pass before the session ended."

The Rally de Portugal begins this afternoon at 4.45pm local time, with the crew due to tackle the Estadio Algarve super-special at 4.50pm.


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