A podium for Martin Prokop's C2 Super 1600 The Sardinia Rally was a very successful event for the C2 Junior Experience drivers. The Czech Martin Prokop finished on the podium at Porto Cervo with his C2 Super 1600, while the R2 class winner Bryan...
A podium for Martin Prokop's C2 Super 1600
The Sardinia Rally was a very successful event for the C2 Junior Experience drivers. The Czech Martin Prokop finished on the podium at Porto Cervo with his C2 Super 1600, while the R2 class winner Bryan Bouffier also managed to finish in the overall Junior points thanks to his seventh place.
The battle for supremacy between the two C2 Super 1600 drivers continued throughout the final day. Martin Prokop came home in third, improving his championship position. He said: "It was a really difficult rally so I am very happy to be on the podium. I've not been very lucky on these stages over the last two years, so I'm pleased that a bit of good luck has finally come my way! I hope to continue my progress in Finland, particularly as my two key rivals won't be there. " The second C2 Super 1600 of Aaron Burkart finished in fourth place, after a fierce battle with the car behind. The German commented: " I'm very happy to be fourth. I always knew that it would be possible to come away from here with a good result and here we are. It's almost better than I hoped for, so that's great news for me. Now I'm just going to concentrate on Finland, where staying on the road is not going to be at all easy. " Both drivers score useful points in the overall Junior Championship, where they lie fourth and seventh respectively.
The biggest surprise of the Citroen C2-R2 runners came from Bryan Bouffier, run by the PH- Sport team. The Frenchman reported: "I had a huge amount of fun with this car from the very start. I wasn't really paying much attention to my times at the start of the rally, but as it turns out we've had a very good result. It's satisfying to be in front of Shaun at the finish, and I hope I have the opportunity to do it again on some more rallies in the Junior Championship. " Bryan drove a faultless rally over all three days to finish seventh in front of the C2-R2 points leader Shaun Gallagher. It was a far from easy event for the Irishman, who suffered with the heat and the dry and rough roads. He said: " The rally was really tough for me but I'm happy not to have encountered any mechanical problems. The stages were extremely rutted and tricky so I was extra-careful to avoid making any mistakes. " Third place in the C2-R2 classification was fought out by the Kronos Junior Team drivers. Gilles Schammel emerged triumphant, claiming 10th overall in the Juniors. His team mate Raphael Auquier retired after going off the road on SS16. Italian driver Stefano Benoni was another retirement, breaking his radiator after a heavy landing on SS14.
Yves Matton, Citroen Sport's customer competition manager, was pleased with the performance of the C2 Junior Experience crews in Sardinia. He commented: "In three rallies, the C2-R2 have been in the points three times, and that is once more the case with Bryan Bouffier. His result has confirmed that we have a reliable car that is well-suited to this type of championship particularly as the C2-R2 was first of the non-Super 1600 runners. By finishing second in the C2-R2 category, Shaun Gallagher continues to impress and has consolidated his position as class leader. We've also got a healthy contingent of Citroen C2 Super 1600s at the finish. Martin Prokop has been suitably compensated for his bad luck in Portugal with a podium finish. He has driven an excellent rally by being extremely consistent right from the very first stage where he was already third. Aaron Burkart's fourth place is also worthy of note, as it means he is also currently fourth in the overall Junior standings. "
<pre> Final Junior Championship classification Rally d'Italia Sardegna*
1. U. Aava/K. Sikk (Suzuki Swift) 4 h 15 min 03,9s 2. P-G. Andersson/J. Andersson (Suzuki Swift) + 1 min 09,4s 3. M. Prokop/J. Tomanek (C2 Super 1600) + 6 min 22,8s 4. A. Burkart/M. Kolbach (C2 Super 1600) + 9 min 09,9s 5. J. Molder/K. Becker (Suzuki Swift) + 9 min 40,3s 6. J. Beres/ P. Stary (Renault Clio) + 15 min 11,1s 7. B. Bouffier/M. Baumel (Citroen C2-R2) + 21 min 51,7s 8. P. Sandell/ E. Axelsson (Renault Clio) + 22 min 39,2s 9. V. Rozukas/A. Shoshas (Suzuki Swift) + 24 min 05,4s 10. S. Gallagher/C. Jenkins (Citroen C2-R2) + 25 min 40,9s 11. G. Schammel/R. Jamoul (Citroen C2-R2) + 34 min 12,2s .../... 15. R. Auquier/C. Pirotte (Citroen C2-R2) + 48 min 37,7s 16. S. Benoni/E. Cantoni (Citroen C2-R2) + 56 min 57,0s
FIA Junior Championship standings after Rally d'Italia Sardegna*
1. P-J. Andersson, 28 points 2. U. Aava, 24 pts 3. J. Molder, 14 pts 4. A. Burkart, 9 pts 5. P. Sandell, 9 pts 6. J. Beres, 9 pts 7. M. Prokop, 6 pts 8. A. Cortinovis, 6 pts 9. S. Gallagher, 3 pts 10. M. Rueda, 3 pts 11. T. Svenkerud, 3 pts 12. B. Bouffier, 2 pts.
* Subject to official confirmation from the FIA