Day 1 : Three Citroen C2 Super 1600s lead in Trier The Junior World Rally Championship competitors got underway this morning to attack the first day of the Rallye Deutschland. On their first day of asphalt rallying of the season, the Citroen ...
Day 1 : Three Citroen C2 Super 1600s lead in Trier
The Junior World Rally Championship competitors got underway this morning to attack the first day of the Rallye Deutschland. On their first day of asphalt rallying of the season, the Citroen drivers put in a virtually faultless performance. On the menu for today's action was two loops of three stages, making up a total of 108.16 competitive kilometres. Unfortunately, because of an accident to another competitor on SS5 and spectator overcrowding on SS6, the final two stages of day one were cancelled. Consequently, the action ended after just four stages for all the Junior World Rally Championship competitors.
Martin Prokop, Sebastien Ogier and Aaron Burkart were the quickest drivers in the Junior category, occupying the top three places. Prokop leads Ogier who is backed by the Equipe de France-FFSA by 7.6 seconds, after the Frenchman lost a few seconds with a small mistake in a corner on SS3. Nonetheless, Ogier has secured his place on the provisional podium thanks to a 37-second lead over Aaron Burkart at the end of the leg. Shaun Gallagher struggled to gain confidence throughout the day, not having driven on asphalt for some time. The Irishman ended up ninth in his World Rally Team Ireland C2 Super 1600.
Hans Weijs fell victim to a puncture that caused him to lose a lot of time on the very first stage. He ended the day in 12th place, having struggled with gearbox problems in the afternoon. Italian driver Francesco Fanari was 11th in the Junior classification overnight, having had a good day but also finding the German stages quite complex.
Aaron Burkart (DE) Michael Koelbach (D) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" This morning I didn't have a very good feeling with the tyres. The road was quite slippery in places and I wasn't able to set the times that I had been hoping for. Nonetheless, I'm pleased to be third overall so far on my home event. Sebastien and Martin are very quick, so I need to try and stay in touch with them in order to maintain my overall position in the Juniors. "
Francesco Fanari (I) Fabio Andrian (I) (Citroen C2-R2 MAX)
" This is quite a challenging rally for me. The stages are very fast and it's hard to keep on the pace. This morning I felt that I drove well, despite a few brake problems on my C2-R2 MAX. I'm pleased to be here at the end of what have been some very tough stages. Now we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. "
Shaun Gallagher (EI) Paul Kiely (EI) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" I didn't get off to a good start today. I lost a lot of time in the first loop of stages, mostly down to a puncture on SS3 that cost me a minute. This is a really tough event for me as I've not driven on asphalt for ages. I got a bit more confidence back at the start of the afternoon but we obviously weren't able to complete the whole route as the last two stages were stopped. "
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" We started off well today by setting the fastest time on the first stage. But then we decided to slow things down slightly in order not to make any mistakes on the really quick stages. Unfortunately, we dropped a bit too much time on SS3 and this allowed Martin Prokop to take the lead. He has a lot of experience on this sort of event, so we will continue to use him as a benchmark over the remainder of the rally. "
Martin Prokop (CZ) Jan Tomanek (CZ) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" We had some grip problems with the tyres since the first stage this morning, but afterwards everything went well. We were able to find a good rhythm on roads that we already know quite well, thanks to our victory here last year. Now we plan to maintain the same pace over the next two days of the event, in order to score the points that we need to improve our championship position. "
Hans Weijs (NL) Hans Van Goor (NL) (Citroen C2-R2 MAX)
" I had a bad day. On the first stage I hit a bank with the left side of the car and that gave me a rear puncture. Then during the second loop of stages I had some problems with the gearbox. That issue cost me a lot of time, and so Francesco Fanari now leads the R2 category. "