An exceptional quartet for Citroen !
The Rallye de France Tour de Corse finished today to conclude the 2008 FIA Junior World Rally Championship. Today's final leg was undoubtedly the most difficult one for all the drivers, who were torn between the idea of pushing hard or safeguarding their positions. The Citroen drivers clearly all made the right decisions, as their results in Corsica have allowed them to occupy the top four places of the 2008 FIA Junior World Rally Championship.
Citroen Sport principal Olivier Quesnel said : " It's an exceptional result for Citroen and all our customers. We are very pleased to have placed the four Citroen C2 Super 1600s engaged in the series in the top four places this year. Sebastien Ogier's latest title can now be added to the collection of Citroen's successes in Junior World Rally Championship with Sebastien Loeb, Dani Sola and Dani Sordo. This achievement underlines the performance of our cars in this closely-fought series and reaffirms Citroen's commitment to bringing on young drivers. "
The satisfaction was equally clear on the faces of Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. Ogier, the only Frenchman competing on the Junior World Rally Championship this year, claimed his title by finishing second in Corsica with his Citroen C2 Super 1600. " At last ! " said Sebastien when he arrived at final service in the port of Ajaccio. " It's been a long wait. This title is an excellent reward for all our sponsors as well as Citroen and the FFSA, whose colours we have proudly sported throughout the season. I also owe this championship win to the PH Sport team and my co-driver Julien, with whom I have had a fantastic relationship throughout the season. " Sebastien Ogier also claimed the `Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally' award in Corsica for his performances over the course of the year.
Behind Sebastien Ogier, Aaron Burkart claimed second in the Junior World Rally Championship. " I am very happy with this result, " said the German. " We were quick and very consistent throughout the season, we made no mistakes, and this allowed us to score points on every round. The performance from our C2 Super 1600 has resulted in an excellent result in the Junior Championship standings. This has been a long three days, so now we are going to enjoy the achievement ! "
Martin Prokop's Jipocar-run C2 S1600 claimed victory in Corsica and scored maximum points to end up third in the end of year rankings. The Czech driver said : " After the problems we've had all year we are very pleased with this result. I'm also very happy to have claimed three wins this season : in Finland, Spain and Corsica. Our mistakes cost us dearly : we had the same outright speed as Sebastien Ogier and we've enjoyed some good battles with him. This has been a fantastic year from a sporting point of view and it has also been extremely educational for young drivers such as ourselves. "
Irishman Shaun Gallagher was classified fourth in the championship, having done a good job all year. Just like Aaron Burkart, Gallagher put in a consistent season at the wheel of a Citroen C2 Super 1600 that was reliable and competitive.
Amongst the Citroen C2-R2 MAX competitors, Hans Weijs finished the Tour de Corse successfully and allowed the Dutch national sporting federation to win the `National Sporting Authorities Association' prize. The other Citroen C2-R2 MAX driver, Francesco Fanari, did not compete in Corsica but he has already won the FIA Rookies title.
Jean-Francois Lienere, in charge of Citroen Sport's customer competition programme, concluded : " This year's Junior World Rally Championship has been dominated by Citroen. Six rounds out of seven were won by our cars. The 2008 seaosn also allowed us to discover some young drivers in the Citroen C2-R2 MAX, who stood out through their strong performances against much more powerful cars. This year has been a very positive one for Citroen. "