Tag Archives: FIA World Rally Championship

WRC

Kris Meeke drew praise from all round with an impressive drive in Rally Finland in the Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3.
Kris Meeke drew praise from all round with an impressive drive in Rally Finland in the Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3.

AL QASSIMI SAYS MEEKE DESERVES MORE CHANCES AS ABU DHABI, CITROËN AIM TO REVIVE WRC CHALLENGE – 

Northern Irishman has provided much food for thought, says Sheikh Khalid as reigning world champions look for WRC boost  –

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 7 August, 2013:  Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi says Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke has given Abu Dhabi Racing and Citroën plenty of food for thought as they look to revive their challenge in the FIA World Rally Championship.

Nominated by Al Qassimi to drive his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 in last week’s eighth round of the WRC series in Finland, Meeke was lying fifth overall until he rolled and went out of the event near the end of the penultimate stage. 

Despite the setback which denied Meeke his reward for a hugely impressive drive, Al Qassimi says he could be given other chances in the WRC, where results this season have been disappointing for the partnership between Abu Dhabi Racing and eight-time manufacturers champions, Citroën Racing. 

Making his first appearance in the WRC for more than 18 months, Meeke closely tracked team-mate Mikko Hirvonen in Rally Finland while completely outpacing Spain’s Dani Sordo in the other Citroën Total Abu Dhabi DS3 to earn a huge amount of praise from all round. 

“He did an excellent job, and I wasn’t surprised,” said Al Qassimi, who missed the event because of other commitments. “He was up there with Mikko and much quicker than Dani, and he’s given us a lot to think about. 

“Our first priority is to get the best we can out of our drivers for the rest of the season, and we need to be on the podium. But already we’re looking ahead to next season, and Kris could get more chances.” 

Added Al Qassimi: “He’s a very good driver, that’s why we picked him. We considered several drivers, but decided Kris would be the best choice and he proved us right. 

“It was just unfortunate that he didn’t get the finish he deserved. I really felt for him, especially as I rolled in the same car in the Acropolis Rally.” 

Al Qassimi is now fully focused on his return to WRC action at the wheel of his Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3 in Rallye Deutschland on 23-25 August. 

In addition to looking for his best WRC finish of the season, the UAE driver will also be hoping for similar from Hirvonen and Sordo – placed fourth and fifth in Finland – as they try to narrow the 55pt gap to manufacturers championship leaders Volkswagen.

WRC

SEBASTIEN LOEB CLAIMED THE OVERALL VICTORY IN FRANCE – HIS 75TH IN THE FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – to secure in his ninth WRC drivers’ title with Citroen becoming WRC manufacturers’ champion for an eighth time.

With Loeb embarking on a partial WRC campaign with Citroen in 2013, the statistics below demonstrate the French legend’s impact on the sport and the success he and co-driver Daniel Elena have achieved since they first emerged on the world stage back in 2001 by winning the forerunner to the Junior World Rally Championship.

Loeb’s WRC career in numbers:

9: World titles shared with co-driver Daniel Elena

75: Number of WRC event wins

2: Rallies remaining before he calls time on full-time WRC career

162: Number of WRC starts to date

1999: Year of Loeb’s WRC debut in Catalunya

4: Rounds missed after breaking shoulder in 2006 – he still claimed title

874: Fastest stage times set

1525: WRC points scored

100: Percentage of stages won on Tour de Corse in 2005

23: Different world championship rallies won

6: Record held by Loeb for most WRC event wins in a row, achieved twice

2002: Year of Loeb’s first WRC victory – Rallye Deutschland

9: Number of occasions Loeb has won Germany’s WRC qualifier

11: Victories scored during the 2008 season

3: Types of Citroen World Rally Cars he has driven to victory

8: Different team-mates during WRC career

4: Team bosses worked under

1: Amount of co-drivers employed during WRC career

5: Rallies won at the start of the 2009 season in succession

13: Rounds tackled in 2010, number of times points scored

 

WRC

SEBASTIEN LOEB HAS RESPONDED TO JARI-MATTI LATVALA’S THREAT BY WINNING STAGE FIVE OF RALLYE DE FRANCE ALSACE.

The French driver was 6.3s quicker than Latvala – the winner of the previous stage – on the repeat of the Hohlandsbourg-Firstplan test to pull 13.8s clear in the chase for glory on round 11 of the FIA World Rally Championship.

“The road was okay, more dry than in the morning,” said Citroen ace Loeb, who is running on hard-compound Michelin tyres like the bulk of his rivals. “There was a bit more mud on the road in some places but we had good information from the gravel crew so we know where it is. Jari-Matti is going very fast so we have to push.”

Ford pilot Latvala said he lost time going off the road and running through a ditch: “We went wide on a left-hander where there was gravel on the road. I tried to get the line and stay away from the cuts but I went out into a ditch for quite a while.”

Petter Solberg said he was more confident behind the wheel of his Fiesta. He completed the stage 3.4s slower than Loeb. Mikko Hirvonen was 3.9s slower than Loeb and frustrated after reporting several corner marking posts had moved following the pre-event reconnaissance. Mads Ostberg, meanwhile, said the set-up of his Fiesta was too low to the ground, which resulted in a loss of time.

Thierry Neuville has dropped from fourth to sixth following a spin in his Citroen. Solberg climbs from sixth to fourth while Dani Sordo continues to hold fifth overall in his MINI, despite saying he wasn’t happy with the handling of his car.