The Finn held a two second lead heading into the final stage, but he
just couldn’t do enough to fend off the rapid Frenchman who won by 5.7
Ogier had been 30 seconds behind Raikkonen after four stages, but
reeled him in during the afternoon and evening loops.
At the finish, Raikkonen said: "It was a great rally. Unfortunately
we lost the first place in the last stage, but for us it was the first
time we drove the car on tarmac and we gained a lot of experience.
"We didn’t lose to such a bad guy [Ogier]," Raikkonen joked. "It was a
nice rally and good learning."
Ogier said: "Kimi was very fast today and it was very difficult to
catch him because this morning we made a wrong tyre choice and lost 30
"I can complement him [Raikkonen] because he did a very good rally
for his first time on tarmac [in the Citroen C4 WRC]."
The Lanterna Rally was the first asphalt event that Kimi Raikkonen
had contested in a World Rally Car, it also marked the first time he had
posted a stage win, led a rally outright and finished on the podium.
The Citroen Junior Team were contesting the Genoa based event as
preparation for the upcoming tarmac surfaced WRC Rally Bulgaria.
2010 Rally della Lanterna – Results (top five)
1 Sébastien Ogier Citroën C4 WRC 1.32.16,7
2 Kimi Raikkonen Citroën C4 WRC +5,7
3 Ferrecchi Maurizio Ford Focus WRC +1.56,0
4 Luca Pedersoli Ford Focus WRC +3.27,8
5 Marco Strata Peugeot 206 WRC +4.48,9
“Kimi was very fast today and it was very
difficult to catch him because this morning we made a wrong tyre choice
and lost 30 seconds,” said Ogier, who won seven of the nine special
stages alongside regular co-driver Julien Ingrassia. “I can complement
him [Raikkonen] because he did a very good rally for his first time on
Tarmac in the Citroen C4 WRC.”
Despite losing out on victory, 30-year-old Raikkonen was far from
downhearted at the finish after winning his first special stage on a
rally when he topped the times on the 9.350-kilometre Torriglia test by
8.8s from Ford Focus driver Marco Silva.
“It was a great rally,” said Raikkonen. “Unfortunately we lost the first
place in the last stage, but for us it was the first time we drove the
car on Tarmac and we gained a lot of experience. We didn’t lose to such a
bad guy [Ogier], either."
Ogier and Raikkonen will return to action on Rally Bulgaria, round seven
of the WRC, from 8-11 July. Ogier is currently second in the drivers’
standings to six-time title-winner Sebastien Loeb. Raikkonen holds 10th
in the table.
Kimi leads in Lanterna rally
Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen is leading his first
asphalt rally, after four stages of the Rally della Lanterna in northern
Italy. Raikkonen currently leads his team mate Sebastien Ogier – the
winner of the Portugal Rally two weeks ago – by nearly half a minute.
The team is using the small national event close to Genoa to prepare
for the forthcoming asphalt rounds of the World Rally Championship,
starting in Bulgaria at the beginning of next month. Raikkonen’s best
result on the World Rally Championship so far is fifth in Turkey – but
he had never driven his Citroen C4 WRC in full asphalt configuration
until this weekend’s event.
Ogier, in the other Citroen reported no major problems, but he
struggled for grip in the damp conditions. The weather is expected to
remain variable for the rest of the rally, which finishes tonight.
Raikkonen’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom said: “Up to now everything has
gone well; very well in fact. But there’s still a very long way to go,
so it’s best that we stay calm.”