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While Loeb and Hirvonen grabbed the headlines, Al-Attiyah and Neuville continued their learning curve in Sweden.
Bristol Street Motors

Rally Sweden provides Citroen with valuable lessons

Rally Sweden provides Citroen with valuable lessons

The second stage of the World Rally Championship (WRC) season allowed Citroen's new drivers to continue their learning curve.

That is the view the team after Three Citroen Racing Technologies-prepared Ds3 WRCs completed Rally Sweden.

Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giovanni Bernacchini made their bow for the French team after missing the season-opening Monte Carlo stage in order to compete in the Dakar rally and were instantly in the thick of the action.

The duo completed the race without making any mistakes and scored their first manufacturer team points for the Qatar World Rally Team.

Al-Attiyah's performance was particularly impressive given his relative inexperience of driving in wintry conditions.

However, he vowed not to press too hard on the Ds3 until he is more comfortable with the car and team around him.

"My aim is not to set fast times, it is just to get to know the car, the team and their working methods better so we can prepare for the gravel rallies. I'll therefore be going at a sensible pace," he said.

The rally also proved a worthwhile experience for Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team.

The Belgian race ace produced some good performances and finished in the top ten on seven of the 24 stages despite still getting to know the car.

"This was the first time I have driven in conditions like these, so it was all new to me. Sometimes, I had to make a lot of corrections to my pace notes, which were a little bit optimistic," he explained.

"When I felt good in the car and the road conditions were less tricky, I pushed more and my times were better. I think this experience also means that I will go into the next few rallies with a little more confidence."

Posted by Craig SalterADNFCR-3205-ID-801293950-ADNFCR