Loeb and Elena on the way to new records?
ADAC Rally Germany (19 – 22 August 2010) – Preview

For Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, Rally Germany is an exceptional event. Since its reintegration into the World Championship calendar in 2002, the Franco-Monegasque pair have won it on every occasion and they are determined to pursue their unbeaten record! In the Citroën Total World Rally Team’s second C4 WRC, Dani Sordo will have a new co-driver for the first time, Diego Vallejo.

After Bulgaria, Rally Germany is the second of the four asphalt rallies in the 2010 FIA World Championship. This event has nothing but good memories for the Citroën Total World Rally Team beginning with Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena’s first real victory (2002). Six more successes have followed, and Seb and Daniel hold the record for the number of consecutive wins in the same event.

An eighth success would enable the six-time world champion duo to improve their statistics, but that would be purely incidental. Should the French national anthem rings out on Sunday at the Porta Nigra in Trier, it will signify that the Citroën crew is well on its way to another world title. In the eight rallies already run this season, Loeb and Elena have always finished on the podium and four times on the topmost step. With 48 and 61 points in hand over Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, the leaders find themselves in an ideal situation - one which they can still improve!

“I’ve always felt good in this rally and things have always gone well for me here. My aim in Germany is obviously an eighth victory,” says Loeb who will be racing only a few dozen kilometres away from his native Alsace. “But three other good drivers also have C4 WRCs, the best car of the moment. That means that I’m going to have to pull out all the stops to stay in front of them. It’s an interesting challenge as the three legs are all different. The stages among the Mosel vines have nothing in common with those in the Baumholder military camp. As is often the case, the weather can play a very important role in the outcome of the event, so it looks like it‘s going to be an exciting and unpredictable race.”

After competing in Rally Finland in the Citroën Junior Team, Dani Sordo is back in the cockpit of the no. 2 C4 WRC. The Spaniard will be backed up by Diego Vallejo, who has replaced Marc Marti. “It isn’t a sudden decision, but I reached the conclusion that there were some things I had to change to progress,” explains Dani. “Marc has given me a lot over the past six seasons and we parted on friendly terms. Diego and I have known each other for a long time; we’re on the same wave length and I think we’re going to work together in real harmony. It will be his first outing in Rally Germany but I don’t think it’s one of the most difficult events for a co-driver.” Dani was second in this event in 2006 and 2008 and intends to do at least as well this year. “As in Bulgaria, I’ll try and score the maximum number of points for Citroën. It won’t be easy and in particular, I will have to watch out in the 47-km stage in the military camp. It’s very hard on tyres and you have to adopt the right rhythm to avoid punctures.”

Three questions to Olivier Quesnel
Let’s look back on Rally Finland. With Sébastien Ogier in second place and Sébastien Loeb just behind, several people expected you to inverse the positions
“Like in Portugal we opted for the sporting aspect by not interfering in the classification in an artificial manner. You had to have an overview of the situation. Mikko Hirvonen had retired and Petter Solberg was behind our two drivers. Third place for Sébastien Loeb was a very good result in the context of the drivers’ championship. By leaving Sébastien Ogier in second place we were able to keep up the pressure on Jari-Matti Latvala. At the same time, this result meant that Ogier didn’t lose too many points in relation to Latvala, his direct rival in the championship. I’d like to add that we talked the situation through with our two drivers and Sébastien Loeb told us that he didn’t want to finish second in such conditions.”

Does that mean you’ll allow your drivers to fight it out between themselves till the end of the season?
“Citroën Racing’s aim is to keep the World Rally Championship Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles. At present, we’re on target to achieve this as Sébastien Loeb and Citroën lead both championships. As in Finland, we’ll have to analyse each situation as it arises.”

Dani Sordo will have Diego Vallejo as co-driver in this rally. Is it the start of a new season for him?
“I certainly hope so! With the exception of Rally Bulgaria, Dani has experienced a fairly difficult season so far. It became obvious that a change was necessary as the rallies unfolded. It was up to him to take the decision. He’s made his choice calmly after examining several possibilities. We’d like to welcome Diego Vallejo, and we hope he’ll help Dani to finish the season on a high note. I’m still convinced that his first victory in the world championship isn’t too far off.”

ADAC Rally Germany (round 9/13) (19 – 22 August)
Surface: Asphalt - Where: Trier
Practical info: The service park is in Trier Messepark. The HQ and Media Centre are in the Park Plaza Hotel in Trier. There is no time difference between Germany and France. On the first day of the rally Friday 20th August, the sun will rise at 6h30 and set at 20h41. In August, the average temperature is between 12°C in the morning and 29°C in the afternoon. The euro is the local currency.
Technical: The two Citroën C4 WRCs will have the engines used in Finland which will also be used in Japan. The transmissions and spare parts are shared with Rally Bulgaria (already run).
Tyres: Each crew can use 54 Pirelli P-Zero tyres maximum in this rally (shakedown included). Two types are available: soft (32 tyres max) and hard (46 tyres max).
Reconnaissance: It is scheduled for Tuesday 17th August from 9h00 to 19h30 and on Wednesday 18th August from 8h00 to16h30 with two passages maximum in each stage.
Shakedown: Thursday 19th August between 8h00 and 12h00 to the west of Trier near the villages of Mesenich and Grewenich as in 2008 on a 5,80-km stage whose start is 16,72 km from the service park.
Press conference: Thursday 19th August at 13h30 in the Media Centre.
Start: Thursday19th August from Porta Nigra at 20h00.
Route: 1194,63 km long including 407,31 timed km. 19 stages (10 different).

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