Citroen Juniors in the points
At the end of a challenging and surprising Rally Norway, the two C2 Junior Experience crews, Aaron Burkart/Timo Gottschalk (Citroen C2 Super 1600) and Shaun Gallagher/Clive Jenkins (Citroen C2-R2) have finished in 5th and 8th places respectively, scoring precious points in the FIA Junior Championship.
Not only that, but both drivers pick up prize money from Citroen, in line with their final overall classification in the Junior Championship category. Burkart's fifth place finish has earned him 2000, while Gallagher claims 6000 for finishing on top of the C2-R2.
The inaugural Rally Norway was characterised by thick snowbanks and slippery roads a massive challenge for the young Citroen crews. Furthermore, neither driver had a lot of experience of competing on snow before the start. A few mishaps as they climbed the learning curve on this most specialised surface were inevitable. As Aaron Burkart, from Germany, pointed out: " I think I made too many mistakes, but on the other hand the stages were even more difficult than I expected. I felt quite confident with the Super 1600 Citroen C2 after driving it last year, but the surface conditions here meant that I had to effectively learn the car all over again. I really enjoyed the last day of the rally: with a three-minute gap in front of me and behind me there was no big pressure and I could just have fun. "
Shaun Gallagher grew up on the bumpy asphalt roads of Ireland, which have very little in common with the snowy tracks of Norway. Unlike Burkart he is entirely new to the Citroen C2, so his biggest priority over the three days was to learn more about the car and how to drive it. The tough conditions of Norway were hardly the ideal classroom, but Gallagher remained focused on his key objective: " My principal aim was to get to the finish and I am very glad that we achieved that. We've had a few problems along the way, but that is all part of the learning process... " After three days of slippery action, Gallagher knows where his biggest improvement will come from. " I need to learn a bit more about the set-up in order to get the most out of the car. Given the level of experience with which I started the event I am very happy with our progress over the three days.... "
Yves Matton, Citroen Sport's Customer Competition Manager concluded: " Our cars have been perfectly reliable in the sub-zero conditions. Shaun Gallagher had an excellent result and used the regulations to his full advantage in order to scoop the top C2-R2 prize, but the real test comes on the next round in Portugal, where 7 out of our 8 competitors will start the rally. "