Kimi Raikkonen learns his task

Kimi Raikkonen learns his task  
Filed under:
Motorsport, Citroën
on 02/01/2010

Source: Citroen

Citroën Racing’s trip to Lapland in order to prepare for the Swedish Rally, round one of the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship, was crowned with success. Dani Sordo and Marc Marti won every stage of the rally, while Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström showed their ability to rapidly get to grips with the Citroën C4 WRC.

The Arctic Lapland Rally, based around Rovaniemi – a small town in Finland close the Arctic Circle – offered a happy hunting ground for Citroën Racing Technologies. With Rally Sweden just two weeks away, the team were able to fit in some useful practice by entering two C4 WRCs. With World Rally Cars not allowed on the Finnish Championship, a special category was set up by the organisers.

Throughout the rally, Dani Sordo put in a true demonstration run. The young Spaniard set 12 fastest times in as many stages. Having come to Finland to perfect his driving on ice and snow, Dani drew an extremely positive conclusion from the experience. “I enjoyed myself so much that I would happily have driven on for a few more stages!” he said. “This weekend went well, run in perfect conditions, and we were able to carry out some useful work with the team. Of course, there was no real pressure. All the more reason for us to drive a very disciplined event! After looking at the data with the engineers, it’s clear that we’ve made consistent progress. That gives me a lot of confidence as we head into the new season, which is just a few days away now.”

After his first rally at the wheel of a WRC machine, Kimi Räikkönen was also able to draw a positive conclusion. Throughout the two days of the rally, the gap between Dani and the Finn stayed consistent at around eight-tenths of a second per kilometre. “Things didn’t exactly get off to the best start as we went off the road during the second stage,” said the Citroën Junior Team driver. “But luckily there was no mechanical damage and I was able to continue in the rally. From there it got a lot better for me and we were much more consistent. We put a few more kilometres under our belt, which was vital to help us continue learning the C4 WRC. As well as being pleased by our performances I was also pleased by the way we were able to work with the team. We developed our set-up in the right direction and now we are going to continue our work in order to arrive in Sweden in the strongest possible position.”

Benoit Nogier, Citroën Racing Technologies team manager, concluded: “This practice event allowed the team to make more progress in preparation for the Rally Sweden. Dani drove exactly the sort of rally that we expected from him. He was fast and consistent, growing in confidence on the surface that comes least naturally to him. As for Kimi, he was quickly able to put his mishap at the start of the rally behind him and get to the end of a complex event, whilst improving at the same pace as Dani.”

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