Citroen duo warn against Cyprus tyres

Citroen drivers Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo have warned against the use of gravel tyres on the asphalt stages planned for the opening day of next month's Cyprus Rally

Citroen duo warn against Cyprus tyres

Loeb spoke out against the plan, implemented as a way of saving money by only making them take one specification of brakes and suspension, earlier this month, but has voiced further concerns following Sordo's test of gravel rubber on asphalt roads.

"For me, it doesn't make sense," said Loeb. "Why not just use the right tyre?"

Sordo drove a Citroen C4 WRC for a day near Alicante, Spain, running the Pirelli Scorpion tyre on asphalt roads. The Spaniard fears the tyres could be worn out before the end of the rally's opening stage.

The intention is that the crews will use the tyres for three stages, totalling 67 kilometers, before returning to service for a fresh set in Limassol.

"I think it's possible we will have worn the tyres out on the first stage," said Sordo. "That first stage is 30 kilometers, and it can be hot in Cyprus at this time. I think it makes sense for the organisers to allow us to change the tyre after that first stage, then we will have some tyre left for the next two stages. Otherwise, it's tough."

Unlike Loeb, Sordo feels running the wrong tyres will add to the spectacle of the Cyprus Rally.

"It will be good for you and for the spectators," he said. "The cars will be sideways all of the time, and for the drivers it can be fun. But, that's all. Maybe it's a little bit stupid to come here with the wrong tyre."

A source within the FIA pointed out that the drivers should take this point up with their employers, adding: "This is something the teams wanted. It save money, which we're all for, but it was something driven by the manufacturers."

The March 12-15 event will mark Cyprus's return to the WRC for the first time since it was dropped due to continued unrest between the two organising bodies. The Cyprus Rally will be the first rally in the modern history of the world championship to run a mixed surface schedule.

Should Loeb continue his run of success in Cyprus - he has won the last three - he would celebrate his 50th World Rally Championship win in Limassol on Sunday March 15.

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