At the end of day two of the Monte Carlo Rally, the three car Citroen team which includes the world’s most successful rally driver, Colin McRae, together with rising French sensation Sébastien Loeb and three times world champion Carlos Sainz, have put their Citroen Xsrara WRC cars in to the first three places, on course for a historic 1-2-3 finish.
McRae continues to impress on his first ever rally in the Citroen Xsara and has consolidated his second position with a string of good stage times, but the day belonged to Sébastien Loeb.
Loeb started the day some 20 seconds behind overnight leader Marcus Gronholm, but sliced the deficit to just 12.8 seconds by winning the first stage by some 8 seconds McRae also started the day quicker than Gronholm completing the first stage just 5.6 seconds behind Loeb.
The second stage of the day saw the Peugeot driver hit a rock and loose over 30 minutes, Loeb stormed into the lead winning his third stage of the rally, whilst McRae raced into second place and Sainz into third.
Stage 10, the last of Day 2, saw Carlos Sainz record his first stage win in the Citroen Xsara WRC, and consolidate his third position by extending his lead over new fourth placed man, Marko Martin in a Ford Focus to over 39 seconds.
Going in to the last day Colin McRae has to make up a 1 minute 8 second deficit over Loeb if he is to turn his first rally for the Citroen team into a winning debut.
McRae said, “It’s good, I drove at a regular pace. I feel better and better and more at ease with the Xsara. Tomorrow we will keep the same pace and keep a close watch on Markko Märtin. The team has been fantastic and has worked tremendously well.”Published 26 January 2003