McRae and Sainz set for Citroen duel

This weekend's Rallye Deutschland will see Citroen's established aces Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz effectively go head-to-head in their aim to stay with the French squad in next year's WRC

McRae and Sainz set for Citroen duel

The recent ruling by the sport's governing body, the FIA, which excludes the third driver in any manufacturer-entered team who has finishing on the podium in the last three seasons, means that both McRae and Sainz are jostling for Citroen's second seat alongside the confirmed Sebastien Loeb in 2004.

"I have an excellent feeling [for the event]," said McRae. "We tested the other week in Germany and the Xsara is very easy to drive, very balanced. My objective is to finish on the podium. I quite liked this event last year. It's really different from all the other asphalt rallies. Each leg was very different. The stages are fairly fast, with tight corners. The trick was finding the ideal braking points."

Sainz, who was a late addition to the Citroen squad before the start of this season, has won a WRC event in the Xsara, unlike McRae. The Spaniard, who lies second in the championship, is also upbeat about his chances this weekend in a machine that has renowned asphalt capabilities.

"The Xsara is a much more accomplished machine on asphalt than it is on gravel," he said. "We will have some small new tweaks for Germany and we hope they will work well. We are all cautiously optimistic."

Rallye Deutschland starts on Friday.

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