IRC: Citroen Rally Russia final summary

2nd RALLY RUSSIA (10-12 July 2008) Another triumph for Jean-Joseph and Citroen's C2-R2 MAX At the end of three tough days that made up the second Rally Russia, Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère have placed their C2-R2 MAX in an excellent eighth...

2nd RALLY RUSSIA (10-12 July 2008)
Another triumph for Jean-Joseph and Citroen's C2-R2 MAX

At the end of three tough days that made up the second Rally Russia, Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère have placed their C2-R2 MAX in an excellent eighth place. In the face of tough opposition, the Citroen crew were able to rely on the performance of their `MAX', the excellent work from the PH-Sport team, and the high-quality tyres supplied by BFGoodrich in order to win Group A and their class.

The rally was run in the Vyborg area, not far from the Finnish border, and took in three legs. The total distance was 859 kilometres, split into 12 stages making up a competitive distance of 229.36 kilometres. Rally Russia, round four of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge), presented an impressive field of rivals for Simon Jean-Joseph to measure his skills against. Proudly carrying number 1, the Citroen C2-R2 MAX had the disadvantage of being first on the road throughout Thursday.

"It was a brilliant competition! ". With these simple words, Simon Jean-Joseph summed up the general feeling at the finish of what was an extremely challenging rally. " By the end of the recce, I already knew that it would be a challenging rally as the roads were already quite degraded. During the first day, which was run on wet stages, we got to grips with the terrain and gradually adjusted the set- up. Even though we were opening the road, we wanted to establish that we were competitive with our rivals, who included drivers with plenty of WRC experience. " Having put themselves firmly in the hunt, the Citroen crew then went to the presentation ceremony at St Petersburg on Thursday night, where the Russian public got their first chance to take a close look at Citroen's latest challenger.

The action resumed once again on Friday. " It was a truly fearsome leg, " said the Martinique-based driver. " On the extremely broken-up roads of the first leg, which contained loads of rocks, we tried to up the pace wherever we could and just concentrated on looking after the car in the roughest bits instead. " His caution paid off, as the Citroen climbed up to ninth overall.

The final four stages, held on Saturday, saw the Citroen crew make up one more position, much to the reigning European Champion's satisfaction. " I've had a lot of fun driving the C2-R2 MAX over the last three days, " he concluded. " The tactic we settled on after the recce was only to attack hard whenever it was possible. We certainly could have gone quicker, but with all the holes and rocks in the road, this plan could have come back to bite us. So our strategy to avoid the biggest obstacles definitely paid off. I've once more been astonished by the strength and reliability of our C2, which has given us no problems at all throughout the event. Its performance allowed us to get in front of all the cars in our class, as well as overhauling some more powerful machinery. "

Jean-Francois Lienere, who is in charge of Citroen Sport's customer competition programme commented: " It's been a very positive rally for us. Throughout three extremely rough days, Simon and Jack have amply demonstrated the strength of our Citroen C2-R2 MAX. The PH-Sport team did a good job and the BFGoodrich tyres worked well. The whole package allowed the `MAX' to win its class, claim Group A overall, and finish as the first two-wheel drive car. With eighth overall, in front of many more powerful cars, it's hard to imagine a better result. With this participation in Russia we have once more fulfilled our aim: to demonstrate the performance and the potential of our C2-R2 MAX. "

-credit: citroen

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Simon Jean-Joseph
Teams Citroën World Rally Team