Citroen Junior Slam Team Tactics in Rally Jordan

Sebastien Loeb's win in Rally Jordan last weekend was eased by the fact that his 1st place on Friday afternoon did not lead to a road opener role throughout the Saturday stages. Team tactics obliged 2nd placed Sebastien Ogier, driving for Citroen's satellite Junior Team, to start each stage on Saturday first one in the field, therefore clearing the road for the reigning world champion.

The tactics paid off for Loeb, who used the extra grip on a cleaner road to detach himself in 1st place from main rival Jari-Matti Latvala, but brought Ogier an 8-minute penalty from the rally organizers, therefore throwing him to 6th place overall. At the end of the rally, neither Junior Team's manager Benoit Nogier, nor Loeb were happy about the situation Ogier had to put up with.

I'm not a fan of the tactics. Since the start of the rally, we must stay to try and help the big team and we don't really do the rally without tactics. Each time we have think what we do, to make sure we don't penalize Loeb or anybody in the big team,” said a frustrated Nogier after the rally was over, according to Autosport.

The first day we let Sebastien (Ogier) drive normally and not receive any target time because we wanted to stay ahead of Sebastien (Loeb), it's clear. For us, it's a big, big shame, we have to penalize Sebastien every time and it's not fair for him,” added the French official.

Loeb also admitted team's tactics make the sport “not so nice”, turning the rally drivers into pawns in a chess game.

It's difficult. These tactics are not sport. This is a bit like a chess game that Malcolm (Wilson) and (Olivier) Quesnel are playing and we are driving. It's not so nice,” said Loeb, who went on to score his first ever win in Rally Jordan.
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