A top performance from Simon Jean-Joseph and the CitroÃ«n C2 S1600 Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack BoyÃ¨re took their BFGoodrich-shod, PH Sport-run CitroÃ«n C2 S1600 to 8th place overall on this weekend's Rally Turkey. They also secured victory in...
A top performance from Simon Jean-Joseph and the Citroën C2 S1600
Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère took their BFGoodrich-shod, PH Sport-run Citroën C2 S1600 to 8th place overall on this weekend's Rally Turkey. They also secured victory in both Group A and the Super 1600 category.
Based in the Istanbul region, this gravel event was the second round of both the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and the European Rally Championship (ERC). Although fast, its stages which were new to the majority of competitors were challenging and technically demanding, with some fairly rough portions and frequent changes in the amount of available grip.
Simon and Jack set off from this morning's service park on the seafront in Pendik, not far from the Bosporus Straight, for a programme of 112.04 competitive kilometres divided into eight stages. The Citroën crew knew however that it would be tough to improve on 9th overall against the four-wheel drive machinery ahead of them on the leaderboard, but they were intent on defending their overnight position.
"I really had to concentrate hard on the slippery, 20.85km-long SS12/16 in order to lose as little ground as possible in the many places that called for hard re-acceleration," explained Simon at the finish. "We were able to push harder on the other stages which were more like what we saw on Saturday." In the end, Simon and Jack came through the weekend unscathed and profited from the clockwork reliability of their Citroën C2 to claim 8th overall.
"The stages were really magnificent," concluded Simon. "The only thing is to perhaps drop the idea of running them in both directions. Apart from the places that were either unfavourable to us or else very rough, driving the Citroën C2 S1600 for the first time on the loose was great fun. Its potential and reliability are awesome, although it was always going to be difficult to beat the four-wheel drive cars in normal circumstances. After changing to a set-up more suited to the terrain, it was great to be in a position where I could push as hard as I wanted. We finished 8th, but we score the points equivalent to finishing 7th in the ERC, a result that seemed pretty much impossible before the start."
Alexis Avril, the Technical Manager of Citroën Sport's Customer Competition Department, was also very positive about the weekend: "We didn't have any benchmarks with the C2 S1600 for the specific characteristics of these stages before the start. It was a case of trying to find the ideal compromise between a hard set-up, which would penalise traction, and softer settings that would detract from diving precision. In the end, the solution we found worked well."
Customer Competition Manager Yves Matton was also pleased with the weekend in Turkey: "After a difficult start, Simon and the PH Sport team recovered well which shows that they operate well together. The stages weren't ideal for two-wheel drive machinery but Simon and Jack pushed from start to finish and didn't make the slightest mistake. We knew it wouldn't be easy but thanks to the Citroën C2 S1600's strength and qualities we come away with a top-ten finish on gravel which is an excellent performance."