IRC: Citroen Rally Russia final day notes

Citroen C2-R2 and Simon Jean-Joseph produce an exploit in Russia Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère crowned their second competitive outing at the wheel of the Citroen C2-R2 with a fine 11th place on the inaugural Rally Russia. The French driver...

Citroen C2-R2 and Simon Jean-Joseph produce an exploit in Russia

Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère crowned their second competitive outing at the wheel of the Citroen C2-R2 with a fine 11th place on the inaugural Rally Russia. The French driver enjoyed a faultless run on his way to claiming victory in Group A and topping the two-wheel drive classification with his PH Sport-tended C2-R2.

"A good position overall and victory in the two-wheel drive classification is an excellent global result," beamed Simon Jean-Joseph at the end of the two-day event. "Given the high number of all-wheel drive cars here and the high-speed nature of the stages, I think it would have been difficult to do much better. I always believed we could cause an upset on this event and I am very pleased with our result."

Following the cancellation of SS11, the second and final leg of the fourth round of the 2007 Intercontinental Rally Challenge featured a mere 34km of against-the-clock action divided into three stages. Although the day was short, however, Simon Jean-Joseph preferred to take things cautiously. "As we saw yesterday," explained the 2004 European Champion, "the gravel stages here tend to cut up quite quickly. They are fast, but there also are frequent portions where buried rocks become exposed and there is a constant threat of picking up a puncture or worse."

The Martinique-based driver started at a brisk pace but without taking any uncalled for risks, a tactic that enabled him to hold on to his overnight lead in the two-wheel drive standings. "It wasn't a foregone conclusion but the day went very well for us. We succeeded in defending our position by pushing hard, yet keeping a safety margin all the time. From start to finish, we were also able to profit from the Citroen C2-R2's first class reliability and from the perfect job put in by PH Sport, although it took me a few kilometres to feel totally confident in the car. After that, I was gradually able to fine-tune the set-up and then I was able to really attack. As in Poland, I was genuinely taken aback by the Citroen's speed, and I don't think I was the only person in that case.

"In addition to wanting to come away with the best result possible, we came here to showcase the competitiveness of the C2-R2. Rallying is becoming increasingly popular in Russia which is also an important market for Citroen. On paper, it wasn't an event for us but we were able to rise to the occasion, as our stage times and final position just outside the top-ten, despite a strong entry of four-wheel drive Group N cars indicate. Despite its small size, we succeeded in showing that the Citroen C2-R2 is capable of scoring top results. There is nothing on the market to beat it in terms of its price/performance/reliability ratio."

Second place in the two-wheel drive category went to another Citroen C2-R2 in the hands of Russians Irek Dautov/Alexander Shatunov who finished a highly commendable 16th overall.

-credit: citroen

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Simon Jean-Joseph , Jack Boyere
Teams Citroën World Rally Team