JWRC: Citroen Rally Catalunya final summary

Prokop on the podium and Rautenbach fifth The latest running of the Rally RACC Catalunya Costa Daurada drew to a close this afternoon with the third and final leg. Martin Prokop was second in his Citroen C2 Super 1600, claiming a...

Prokop on the podium and Rautenbach fifth

The latest running of the Rally RACC Catalunya Costa Daurada drew to a close this afternoon with the third and final leg. Martin Prokop was second in his Citroen C2 Super 1600, claiming a provisional third place in the Junior Championship.

The Czech driver did not put a foot wrong throughout the three days of competition. " I gave it my all from start to finish ", said Martin. " I knew that I absolutely needed to stay in front of Urmo Aava once I had got past him ". Prokop and his key rival enjoyed a gripping battle from the start to the finish of the rally. Just six seconds separated him from Aava at the finish. " Martin resisted the pressure from him well ", said Yves Matton, Citroen Sport's customer competition manager. " He was able to adapt himself very quickly to the pace set by Aava and Andersson. Thanks to a consistent rally, he managed to hold onto his second place ".

Conrad Rautenbach finished the rally in fifth place. " Conrad went with a bad tyre choice on Friday and a bad feeling, which cost him a chance of getting in amongst the leaders ", concluded Yves Matton. The Zimbabwean has scored more points in the Junior Championship and could theoretically claim third overall in the standings after the final round in Corsica. German driver Aaron Burkart has also scored some useful points by finishing seventh. Having gone off the road on SS4, Aaron put in a big effort to climb back up the leaderboard. In particular, he set two fastest stage times during today's action. " Aaron has once more confirmed his progress by setting two fastest times today, and one fastest time in Germany", observed Yves Matton. Finally, the young Yeray Lemes was invited to take part in his home event by the Spanish motorsport federation and put in an impressive performance over the first two legs. Unfortunately the engine of his C2 Super 1600 suffered an oil leak at the end of day two, forcing him into retirement. Nonetheless, Yves Matton believes that he would make a good Junior Championship competitor next year. " Yeray has shown himself to be a big hope for the future ", commented Matton. " He has a lot of interesting potential to fight in the Super 1600 category next season ".

In the C2-R2, it's a new domination for Yoann Bonato. From the first stage Bonato was instantly on the pace within the class, even going quicker than some of the Super 1600 cars. The Equipe de France drivers kept up a rapid and consistent pace to add another victory to his collection. Yves Matton said : " He has confirmed the pace he showed in Finland and Germany, and now he needs to concentrate on his next challenge which is a C2 Super 1600 in Corsica ". Bonato was eighth amongst the Juniors, scoring one point. Shaun Gallagher was second in the C2-R2 classification. The Irishman, taking part in his last Junior Championship rally of the year, did not take any risks throughout the three days of action. He finished 10th in the Juniors, scoring eight more points in the rookie championship and so claiming the FIA rookie title. " I'm really pleased to take this title ", he said. " It's down to consistency throughout the season. I tried to stay in the lead of the classification throughout the year ". But he will have to wait until the end of the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse to find out if he is the highest-placed C2-R2 driver in the Junior Championship. If he wins it, he can take part in a free rally paid for by Citroen Sport which will be given to the highest-placed driver after taking part in six obligatory events of the Junior Championship. Yves Matton commented : " Shaun was able to manage his season extremely well, " said Yves Matton. " It also means that a Citroen driver has claimed the rookie title. Now Shaun will have to sit through a somewhat nerve-wracking Corsica to discover how the rest of his season will pan out... "

On his first rally in the C2 Junior Experience, Vilius Rozukas has taken third place " He has worked out well how to adapt himself to the C2-R2 on his first rally with it, and now he will have to continue the learning process in Corsica ", said Yves Matton. Gilles Schammel performed well throughout the rally. Despite a broken clutch cable at the end of the first leg, he was able to make up the time lost and even got in front of Shaun Gallagher during the second leg. But then he had a puncture on SS16 and broke the transmission, which led to his retirement. " Unfortunately for him, his result is not a true reflection of his performance ", said Yves Matton. Finally, Raphael Auquier and Stefano Benoni retired on the first and second legs repsectively as a result of off-road excursions. Yves Matton nonetheless drew a positive conclusion from the Italian's performance, who drove his best rally of the year. "Stefano demonstrated that he has the potential to compete with the R2 frontrunners ", he added. <pre> Final Junior Championship classification, Rally RACC Catalunya*

1. P. Andersson/J. Andersson (Suzuki Swift) 3h 44 min 24,5 s 2. M. Prokop/J. Tomanek (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 33,9 s 3. U. Aava/K. Sikk (Suzuki Swift) + 39,9 s 4. J. Beres/ P. Stary (Renault Clio) + 3 min 39,4 s 5. C. Rautenbach/D. Senior (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 4 min 59,8 s 6. J. Molder/F. Miclote (Suzuki Swift) + 8 min 59,5 s 7. A. Burkart/M. Kolbach (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 10 min 39,6 s 8. Y. Bonato/B. Boulloud (Citroen C2-R2) + 12 min 38,9 s 9. A. Bettega/S. Scattolin (Renault Clio) + 15 min 58,3 s 10. S. Gallagher/C. Jenkins (Citroen C2-R2) + 19 min 02,0 s 11. V. Rozukas/A. Shosdas (Citroen C2-R2) + 22 min 41,9 s 12. G. Schammel/R. Jamoul (Citroen C2-R2) + 30 min 48,0 s 13. M. Komljenovic/A. Jeremic (Renault Clio) + 39 min 15,4 s

FIA Junior Championship, after Rally RACC Catalunya*

1. P-G. Andersson 38 pts 2. U. Aava 38 pts 3. M. Prokop 24 pts 4. J. Molder 20 pts 5. P. Sandell 19 pts 6. J. Beres 18 pts 7. A. Burkart 16 pts 8. C. Rautenbach 15 pts .../... 14. Y. Bonato 4 pts 15. T. Svenkerud 3 pts 16. S. Gallagher 3 pts 17. A. Bettega 2 pts 18. B. Bouffier 2 pts 19. A. Pars 1 pt.

* Subject to official publication of results from the FIA

-credit: citroen.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Conrad Rautenbach , Martin Prokop , Aaron Burkart , Gilles Schammel , Urmo Aava , Yoann Bonato , Yeray Lemes , Yves Matton
Teams Citroën World Rally Team