July 7, 2015 – Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally team finished inside the top 10 in an incident packed Rally Poland. Round 7 of FIA World Rally Championship was full of drama with an incorrect tire choice at the outset affecting the grip in both cars and preventing them from competing for top positions as planned. Despite this setback however, Kris Meeke finished in 7th and Mads Østberg in 9th aboard the DS 3 WRC, strengthening the team’s 2nd place in the overall standings.
After a difficult start to the Rally, Day 3 saw things improve for the team. Mads Østberg managed to move up to 9th place, and Kris Meeke, who was in 8th place, put in some good times, closing the gap on 7th place, ex formula 1 driver, Robert Kubica.
The drama continued on Day 4 which consisted of 1 stage repeated twice with a total length of 14.6 km. Kris Meeke continued to close the gap on 7th place Kubica, with just 5.4 sec separating them by the end of special stage 18 (penultimate stage). During the final stage, Robert Kubica punctured his rear right tire, costing him a lot of time and his 7th place to Kris Meeke.
“Unfortunately I think we lost the race before it began, when we had an accident during shakedown” Said Meeke and added “However I think we showed great competitive spirit until the end and we’ll be looking forward to rally Finland”.
In the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC); Abu Dhabi Racing junior driver Mohamed Al Mutawaa and his co-driver Stephen McAuley also managed to finish rally Poland inside the top 10, aboard their Citroën DS 3 R3-Max, following a steady but cautious driving strategy. “I enjoyed Rally Poland a lot with its fast but tricky stages and numerous blind corners. We took it at a steady pace and the strategy worked”. Al Mutawaa said added: “I am extremely happy with the result particularly as this is the 1st time I have participated in such a difficult rally. We picked up a few mistakes in the pace notes which we will try to avoid during rally Finland”.
Round 8 of FIA World Rally Championship will take place in Finland from July 30th till August 2nd with the participation of Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally driver Sheikh Khalid Bin Faisal Al Qassimi in addition to Abu Dhabi Racing junior driver Mohamed Al Mutawaa in the JWRC.
1 OGIER Sebastien / Volkswagen Polo R WRC 2:26:11.5
2 MIKKELSEN Andreas / Volkswagen Polo R WRC +11.9
3 TANAK Ott / Ford Fiesta RS WRC +23.0
4 LATVALA Jari-matti / Volkswagen Polo R WRC +44.7
5 PADDON Hayden / Hyundai i20 WRC +1:14.6
6 NEUVILLE Thierry / Hyundai i20 WRC +1:44.5
7 MEEKE Kris / Citroën DS3 WRC +1:57.7
8 KUBICA Robert / Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2:08.3
9 OSTBERG Mads / Citroën DS3 WRC +2:18.2
10 SORDO Dani / Hyundai i20 WRC +2:48.4
Drivers Championship Points
1 Ogier 161
2 Mikkelsen 83
3 Ostberg 69
4 Latvala 68
5 Neuville 58
6 Meeke 53
7 Evans 53
8 Paddon 42
9 Tanak 40
10 Sordo 39
Manufacturers Championship Points
1 Volkswagen Motorsport 216
2 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 125
3 Hyundai Motorsport 123
4 M-Sport WRT 114
5 Volkswagen Motorsport II 49