Van Merksteijn Motorsport press release
Peter van Merksteijn jr. impresses in World Rally Championship with 9th position
Peter van Merksteijn jr. scored in the ADAC Rallye Deutschland his very first two World Rally Championship points by finishing in his Citroën DS3 WRC in a perfect ninth position overall. During the first rally of this season in which he didn’t suffer from any troubles and reached the finish of the event, he showed that he has enough potential to be competing in the World Rally Championship.
During the first two days of the WRC Rallye Deutschland, Peter jr. laid the foundation for the resulting success on Sunday afternoon. On Friday, through the vineyards along the river Mozel, Peter j. and his new co-driver Erwin Mombaerts had a solid drive while they were still in the progress of getting used to each other. With an 11th position at the end of the opening day they were in their DS3 WRC already knocking on the door of the top ten and within reach of their first championship points.
Three of the stages which were scheduled for the Saturday were not Peter’s favorites and by driving through these tough stages at his own pace he managed to maintain his position in the classification. On the famous and feared special stage Panzerplatte near Baumholder where Peter jr. always performs well, he had an very strong drive and entered the top ten at the end of the day.
The final day of the rally promised to be a very exciting one with a battle between Peter van Merksteijn jr. in de DS3 WRC and Dennis Kuipers with the Fiesta WRC for the last championship point available. The Van Merksteijn Motorsport driver took no risks in the rainy conditions during the first loop of the two stages and still held a lead of 7.4 seconds upon arrival in the service park.
The battle between the two Dutch drivers and friends continued through till the final stage of the rally, the Power Stage Circus Maximus in the ancient city center of Trier. By the Peter jr. had climbed into ninth position and held a lead of 6.5 seconds. On the short special stage of just 4.3 kilometers which was broadcasted live on television, Peter jr. and Erwin were almost a second faster than Kuipers and ninth place was a fact and they scored their very first World Championship points in their careers.
“This is really a fantastic result what we achieved this weekend. After all the bad luck during the past events of this season it is the first time that I reach the finish of a WRC rally with the DS3 WRC and finishing in the points is unbelievable” told a thrilled Peter van Merksteijn jr. “I ordered myself to reach the finish this time and drove mostly at my own pace. That the approach would result that I would have the first two championship points in my pocket is something I could never have imagined up front during an event with such a tough entry list with 21 World Rally Cars entered.”
With a ninth position for the drivers and sixth place in the manufacturers classification, the team of Van Merksteijn Motorsport scored an amazing 8 championship points. “This is really an incredible result and something that we needed after all the troubles we have suffered during the previous events. It was a perfect weekend for the entire team” explained Gerard Grouve, team manager of Van Merksteijn Motorsport. “the cooperation within the car improved during the event with every stage and thanks to the great support of Citroën Racing and all the people of PH Sport we were able to achieved this result.”