Hanninen and the Citroen C2: Super 1600 victors! First place in the Super 1600 category and in Class A6 this weekend for Finland's Juho Hanninen and Marko Sallinen means the Citroen C2 ends the 2006 season just as it started it, with a ...
Hanninen and the Citroen C2: Super 1600 victors!
First place in the Super 1600 category and in Class A6 this weekend for Finland's Juho Hanninen and Marko Sallinen means the Citroen C2 ends the 2006 season just as it started it, with a win.
Although not entered within the framework of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship, Juho Hanninen and Marko Sallinen were nonetheless competing against all the other Super 1600 specialists present on Wales Rally GB. The 25-year Finn came out of the drama-filled final day to clinch the Super 1600 laurels and justify all the good that is being said about him. "I spent the first leg getting accustomed to the car before pushing progressively harder over the next two days," he said after the Cardiff finish. "Although
the heavy rain that fell over South Wales this weekend made the going extremely difficult, I was still able to see just how competitive the Citroen C2 Super 1600 is. I achieved my objective which was to finish on the Class A6 podium, and I'm delighted to have finished on the highest step." Hanninen's success once again underlines the winning form of the Citroen C2 Super 1600 since its debut in the middle of 2004. "Our initial aim was to make the Citroen C2 Super 1600 competitive over all the different types of terrain we come across in the course of the championship," explains Citroen Sport's Customer Competition Technical Manager Alexis Avril. "We achieved that target during our full JWRC campaign last year and since then we have made ongoing improvement to its performance and reliability."
Alexis Avril's claim is borne out by the results! Between them, the 'official' and 'customer' versions of the Citroen C2 notched up four wins from seven outings this year to take the car's total score of world class Super 1600 victories since its debut to nine. "The tremendous development work that the department's technical squad has accomplished over the past two years has turned the C2 into one of the Super 1600 category benchmarks," says Yves Matton, Citroen Sport's Customer Competition Manager. "The
performance of Juho Hanninen and Marko Sallinen this weekend in Wales is further evidence of that. On the other hand, I have to say that I'm disappointed for Kris Meeke and Glen Patterson who were unable to make the most of the chance they had here. Victory and the 2006 JWRC title were within their grasp. It's a shame they didn't succeed."
The other Citroen C2s present in Wales included the Super 1600 cars of Aaron Burkart/Kevin Zemanik and Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek who respectively finished 3rd in the JWRC standings and 5th in Class A6. Meanwhile, Fabien Fiandino and Sabrina De Castelli took their Citroen C2-R2 to a top-ten finish (7th in Class A6). "We didn't suffer the slightest mechanical problem," reports Fabien. "I am so pleased to have reached the finish of this extremely difficult event where you're constantly having to adapt to the ever changing conditions. It's been a very positive weekend in terms of experience."