Citroen Boss Defends Team Orders

Citroen boss Guy Frequelin has defended his decision to hand out team orders in the second leg of the Rally Deutschland

Citroen Boss Defends Team Orders

Sebasiten Loeb and Francois Duval were ordered to protect their positions early in Leg Two after Loeb spun and Duval had a brief off in SS7. With more than a minute back to third placed Marcus Gronholm, Citroen ordered the pair to control their pace for the rest of the Rally and not fight among themselves and risk what would be the team's first 1-2 finish of the season.

Although Loeb has a commanding position in the Drivers' Championship standings, Peugeot entered the rally with a one-point advantage in the Manufacturers' Championship over their French rivals with six rounds to go, and a 1-2 result would be a huge boost for Citroen.

"We are in something of an exceptional situation," Frequelin said. "It's obviously nice to find yourself first and second with such a big cushion this early on. But it also means you have to manage the situation, and it's difficult not to feel a little tense since you've got more to lose than win."

Duval also backed the decision, even though it denies him a change of fighting for his first WRC victory.

The Belgain said: "We tried to be just quick enough without giving too much away. Just enough for the car to still be comfortable to drive and to stay concentrated. It would have been risky for me to try to win at all costs. Sebastien wouldn't have simply stood back and let me pass.

"To have fought each other wouldn't have made sense. I am really pleased this evening. I feel comfortable with the car and my confidence is back."

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