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Citroen World Rally Programme Gets Wings!

March 21st, 2008





Red Bull has joined Citroën Sport in the World Rally Championship as its newest partner, attracted by the team’s exceptional performance with three world titles for Citroën and, with the world’s most successful rally driver of all time, four time world champions Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena.

"We are extremely happy to have this exciting new opportunity to work with such a dynamic company as Red Bull,” said Citroën Sport Director Olivier Quesnel, as the team prepared for the next round of the WRC title chase in Argentina this coming weekend(27-30 March 2008) “The images of our respective firms are very complementary and this partnership will be beneficial since it slots in perfectly with rally sport and with Citroën, which is a particularly active brand."

Red Bull GmbH is based in Fuschl am See, near Salzburg in Austria, and is present in more than 130 countries around the world. The philosophy behind Red Bull's partnerships in the world of sport is based on building strong associations with sportsmen and women who excel in their particular domains.

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Red Bull joins Team Citroën-Total's existing partners for 2008, namely Pirelli, Le Coq Sportif, Eurodatacar, Citroën Financement, Magneti-Marelli, Sabelt, Transalliance, OZ Racing and Météo France Sports.

CITROËN's record in the FIA World Rally Championship:

  1. § 4 consecutive FIA World Rally Championship Drivers' and Co-drivers' titles with
  2. § Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007),
  3. § 3 FIA World Rally Championship Manufacturers' titles (2003, 2004 and 2005),
  4. § 3 FIA Junior World Rally Championship titles (2001, 2002 and 2005),
  5. § 44 outright wins (since 1999 until Mexico 2008)
  6. § 95 podium finishes (since 1999 until Mexico 2008)


ARGENTINA PREVIEW: Citroën Sport ready to tango in the sierra!

Rally Argentina has so much that makes it a unique experience, from the tremendous welcome of its aficionados, the turn-by-turn de scri ptions of the radio commentators and the region's breathtaking landscapes, to the makeshift asados barbecuing what could well be the best meat in the world and also some of the sport's most selective stages.

This year, the South American event is the fourth round of the 2008 WRC and Citroën has entered its usual crews Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Martí, while a private C4 tended by PH Sport with support from Citroën Technologies technicians has been entered by Conrad Rautenbach/David Senior.

During week the event is in town, rally fever takes over the city of Cordoba and the otherwise peaceful shores of San Roque Lake in Villa Carlos Paz where the service park is based.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line this year's 347.91km of stages which will take crews across the gravel tracks that wind through the sierra high above the Punilla, Calamuchita and Traslasierra valleys.

"Argentina is one of the most complete rallies of the season," says Citroën Sport's Technical Manager Xavier Mestelan-Pinon. "The drivers face several different types of surface, ranging from smooth and hard-packed to rough and sandy. There are some high-speed jumps which call for a certain amount of caution, too, as well as numerous water-splashes which are one of this event's specialities. It takes good notes to know exactly how fast each one can be

tackled. Our first visit here with the C4 last year showed that the car was competitive. This time round, with one year's extra experience under our belts and following the testing done by the team with the car on Pirelli tyres, we hope we have succeeded in taking our package further forward and that we can come away from Argentina with a top result."

With six previous starts to his name, Marc Martí is the most experienced of Citroën Sport's four crew members here. "The atmosphere in Argentina is something else," he beams. "It's a bit like home soil for us, too, and I have many fond memories of the event, including my win with Carlos Sainz in 2004. Each of the three legs is different, with twisty stages on Day 1, then much faster, quite treacherous ground on Saturday before the weekend concludes with two classic tests on Sunday: 'Giulio Cesare' and 'El Cóndor'. There are also plenty of water-crossings through which you really have to be careful if you don't want to damage your car."

Citroën has gone unbeaten in Argentina since 2004, and Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo are both intent on continuing this winning streak. "I really do enjoy this event. It's one of the best of the year," admits the defending World Champion. "There's always a very special atmosphere and it's nice to see such enthusiastic spectators. Daniel and I have won the last three events and another victory would put us back on top of the championship standings. However, that's not an absolute priority; above all, I hope we are competitive. The major unknown factor concerns how our tyres will perform. We are forced to run hard compound Pirellis which isn't ideal for Argentina's sandy, low-wearing stages. We will need to find a setup that gives us as much grip as possible."

"Another rally in a Spanish-speaking country! That's nice," adds Dani Sordo. "I hope we will fare better than we did in Mexico, although I must say that Rally Mexico showed me that my gravel driving technique is getting better and better. I will need to have the same feeling in villa Carlos Paz if I want to score a top result. I like this event; I like its fast, varied stages, and the spectacular positions we find ourselves in when we land after certain jumps... We went well with the C4 here last year and we will do our best to do the same this time round

to try to secure a good finish in terms of the Manufacturers' championship."

Event notes: 2008 Rally Argentina

· 28th Rally Argentina (round 4 of 15), March 27-30

· Surface: gravel

· Headquarters: Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba

· Practical information: the local currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). ARS10 = €2.5.

The time difference between Argentina (GMT-3) and continental Europe is five hours. When it is 11am in Villa Carlos Paz, it is 4pm Paris.

· Technical matters: the engines of both C4s are new and will go on to contest the Jordan Rally and the Rallye d'Italia Sardegna. Two gearbox/differential packages are authorised per driver. Five sets of dampers and five hub carriers are authorised per event. Argentina is paired with Mexico regarding mechanical components.

· Tyres: only one type of tyre is available: the Scorpion WRC 205/65R15 Hard. It is possible to carry two spares but the 're-cutting' of tread patterns is not permitted. 36 tyres may be used during the event (including shakedown).

· Recce: scheduled for Tuesday March 25 and Wednesday March 26. Two passes are

authorised at a maximum speed of 90kph.

· Shakedown: Thursday March 27 (08.00 until 12.00). The 4.59km test stage between

Villa Garcia and Cabanlango (14.43km northwest of the service park) is the same as that used in 2007.

· Press conference: Thursday March 27 (from 13.30), Portal del Lago Hotel auditorium.

· Autograph signing session: Thursday March 27 (19.00 to 19.40), Paseo del Buen

Pastor, Cordoba.

· Start ceremony: Thursday March 27 (from 20.00) in Cordoba (corner of Hipolito

Yrigoyen and San Luis Street).

· Route: the total distance is 1,619.45km, including 347.91km divided into 21 stages (11 different).

· Day 1 (Friday March 28): 605.59km, including 150.86km divided into 9 stages (5

different). Starts from Villa Carlos Paz service park at 06.22. SS1 (La Cumbre-Agua de Oro 1, 18.70km), SS2 (Ascochinga-La Cumbre 1, 23.28km), SS3 (Capilla del Monte-San Marcos 1, 22.95km) and SS4 (San Marcos-Charbonier 1, 9.61km). Regroup (12.02, 15 minutes). Service A (12.17, 30 minutes). SS5 (Ascochinga-La Cumbre 2), SS6 (Capilla del Monte-San Marcos 2), SS7 (San Marcos-Charbonier 2), SS8 (La Cumbre-Agua de Oro 2) and SS9 (Cordoba Super-Special 1, 1.78km). Service B (19.25, 45 minutes). Last car due into parc ferme at midnight.

· Day 2 (Saturday March 29): 708.72km, including 154.38km divided into 9 stages (5 different). Starts from parc ferme. Service C (06.25, 15 minutes). SS10 (Santa Monica-Amboy 1, 22.17km), SS11 (Villa del Digue-Las Bajadas 1, 16.41km), SS12 (San Agustin-Villa General Belgrano 1, 16.31km) and SS13 (Santa Rosa-San Augustin 1, 21.41km). Regroup (12.00, 15 minutes). Service D (12.15, 30 minutes). SS14 (Santa Monica-Amboy 2), SS15 (Villa del Digue-Las Bajadas 2), SS16 (San Agustin-Villa General Belgrano 2), SS17 (Santa Rosa-San Augustin 2) and SS18 (Cordoba Super-Special 2). Service E (18.45, 45 minutes). Last car due into parc ferme at midnight.

· Day 3 (Sunday March 30): 305.14km, including 42.67km divided into 3 stages (3

different). Starts from parc ferme. Service F (06.55, 15 minutes). SS19 (Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesare, 24.70km), SS20 (El Cóndor-Copina, 16.06km) and SS21 (Cordoba Super-Special 3, 1.98km). Service G (12.45, 10 minutes). Podium ceremony (13.10).

· Finish ceremony: Sunday March 30 (from 13.10) near the Villa Carlos Paz service park. A pre-finish podium is scheduled after SS21 for television purposes.

· Post-rally press conference: Sunday March 30 (from 14.00), press office auditorium, Portal del Lago Hotel.

· New: the rally takes place one month earlier than its slot last year (May 3-6, 2007). SS10/14 and SS11/15 are run in the opposite direction compared with last year. The Cordoba Super-Special (SS9/18/21) is organised outside the stadium this time, and not inside it. SS4/7 was previously used in 2003, while SS12/16 hasn't been used since 2001 and has a new start location this time. The start of SS20 (El Cóndor) has also been moved.

· Citroën's record in Argentina: four wins, in 2007 (Loeb/Elena, C4), 2006 and 2005 (Loeb/Elena, Xsara) and 2004 (Sainz/Martí, Xsara).

· The crews statistics (before this rally):

Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena: WRC debut: Catalonia, 1999 (Saxo Kit-Car, retired).

WRC starts: 101. First WRC win: Germany, 2002 (Xsara). WRC wins: 38. WRC world

titles: 4 (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007).

Dani Sordo: WRC debut: Catalonia, 2003 (18th). WRC starts: 47. Junior title: 2005

(C2 S1600).

Marc Martí: WRC debut: Catalonia, 1992 (21st). WRC starts: 113. Junior title: 2005 (C2 S1600).

· The crews' Rally Argentina records:

Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena: this will be their sixth start. 2007 (C4, 1st), 2006 (Xsara, 1st), 2005 (Xsara, 1st), 2004 (Xsara, 2nd) and 2003 (Xsara, retired). 2002 (recce only).

Dani Sordo: this will be his third start with Marc Martí: 2007 (C4, 6th) and 2006 (Xsara, 5th). Dani contested the 2004 event with co-driver Carlos del Barrio (Mitsubishi, retired).

Marc Martí: this will be his seventh start: 2007 (C4 with Dani Sordo, 6th), 2006 (Xsara with Dani Sordo, 5th), 2004 (Xsara with Carlos Sainz, 1st), 2003 (Xsara with Carlos Sainz, 2nd), 1998 (Ibiza GTi with Oriol Gómez, 10th), 1997 (Ibiza GTi with Oriol Gómez, 9th).

· Conrad Rautenbach/David Senior will drive a privately-entered Citroën C4 WRC

prepared and run by PH Sport with the support of technicians from Citroën Sport

Technologies.



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