ERC: Citroen Turkey rally day one notes

A strong run from Simon Jean-Joseph and his Citroen C2 Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère parked up their PH Sport-tended Citroen C2 S1600 in this evening's parc ferme in Pendik in 9th position overall and on top of both the Group A and Super...

A strong run from Simon Jean-Joseph and his Citroen C2

Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère parked up their PH Sport-tended Citroen C2 S1600 in this evening's parc ferme in Pendik in 9th position overall and on top of both the Group A and Super 1600 leaderboards.

The opening leg of this gravel event, which is the second round of both the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and the European Rally Championship (ERC), featured a menu of 11 stages totalling 137.81km and was divided into several loops located essentially in the outskirts of Istanbul to the north-east of Pendik.

Annoyed by his mediocre run on Friday's asphalt super-special which saw him post a lowly 39th quickest time, Simon was eager for action to resume this morning. "I drove terribly yesterday evening," he admits frankly. "In fact I changed the way I drive so as not to make any mistakes because the stage was lined with high kerbs. As it turned out, however, being over-cautious ended up playing against me. This morning I was really looking forward to tackling the first real stages with my C2 S1600 in order to make amends."

On his first return to service, the Citroen driver was quick to praise the route. "I had my reserves but I was pleasantly surprised because it was nothing like what Jack and I have come across on occasions in Turkey in the past." His times, however, left him scratching his head a little... "Given the fact that I'm running fifth on the road, the stages hadn't been completely swept clean and I had a lot of wheelspin. The set-up also needs changing to adapt it better to the terrain."

"Along with the PH Sport mechanics, we changed the dampers to try and give Simon some more grip," explained Alexis Avril, Technical Manager of Citroen Sport's Customer Competition Department. "For the same reason, we also added extra cuts to the treads of his BFGoodrich tyres compared with this morning's loop." These changes had an immediate effect, enabling Simon and his C2 S1600 to battle directly with the pack of four- wheel drive cars as he fought his way back up through the field.

"The car is performing much better thanks to the changes we made to the set-up at service," observed Simon. "Only the poorly swept portions are still a problem for us. I am pleased with the improvements we have made to the C2 and I have a good feeling with the car." The Citroen driver posted several top-ten times to complete the day in 9th place overall.

Customer Competition Manager Yves Matton believes the day can be divided into two distinct halves: "After this morning's difficult start, which was due notably to an inappropriate set-up for the opening loop, Simon Jean-Joseph and the PH Sport team succeeded in turning the tables to reveal the potential of the Citroen C2 Super 1600 on these stages which really favour four-wheel drive machinery. Simon is 9th overall this evening and will try to move further up the leaderboard tomorrow, but it won't be easy."

-credit: citroen

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Simon Jean-Joseph , Jack Boyere , Yves Matton
Teams Citroën World Rally Team