WRC

JWRC: Citroen Rally Finland final leg summary

Success for Prokop and the Citroen C2 Super 1600 The Rally Finland, which is the very last gravel event of the year for the Juniors, ended at midday with the spectacular Ruuhimaki special stage, where the cars seemingly go into orbit thanks to a...

Success for Prokop and the Citroen C2 Super 1600

The Rally Finland, which is the very last gravel event of the year for the Juniors, ended at midday with the spectacular Ruuhimaki special stage, where the cars seemingly go into orbit thanks to a spectacular series of fast jumps. Martin Prokop claimed the rally win, ending the event with a lead of 17.5 seconds over his closest rival. The young Czech becomes the third driver to have won the famous Rally Finland in a Citroen as part of the Junior World Rally Championship, after Sebastien Loeb in 2001 (with a Saxo) and Dani Sordo in 2005 (with a C2).

" This win here really gives me a lot of pleasure! " said the Jipocar driver on the podium at Jyvaskyla's Paviljonki, which is also the Rally HQ. " We weren't very lucky at the start of the season after we went off the road on the first day in Mexico, and then we had an engine problem that cost me the win in Italy. So this victory is a well-deserved reward for all the hard work put in by everybody at our team. " Martin Prokop claimed the rally lead in his C2 Super 1600 from the first special stage, and enjoyed a fight with Michal Kosciuszko right up to the end of the second day. This morning Martin set off with a sufficient margin that allowed him to control his advantage without having to take any risks.

Aaron Burkart was fourth in his newly-liveried C2 Super 1600 after a consistent run. Shaun Gallagher finished fifth after struggling to find a good feeling on the rapid Finnish stages. Jean-Francois Lienere, who is in charge of Citroen's customer competition programme, explained: " Aaron and Shaun had some difficulty finding the pace that is needed here. "

Despite this, both of them maintain their overall Junior championship positions thanks to the points that they scored in Finland. Consequently they are still fourth and fifth respectively, four and eight points behind the series leader Sebastien Ogier (Citroen C2 Super 1600).

Hans Weijs triumphed in the R2 class. The Dutchman finished in the 8th place overall in the Juniors, having had a weekend of mixed fortunes in Finland. Jean-Francois Lienere added: " Hans encountered a few problems after a somewhat optimistic approach to the jumps during the first two days, but he soon made up for lost time and ended the rally with a good solid finish. " The other C2-R2 MAX, driven by the Italian Francesco Fanari, did not have the chance to enjoy such a good finishing position. Francesco was pleased with his times over the last two days but commented: " Had I not lost so much time by having to start Saturday under the Super Rally system, I would obviously have been in a better finishing position. But the C2-R2 MAX thoroughly demonstrated its capabilities on this event, which gives me a lot of confidence for the future. "

Citroen Sport was also very pleased with the results obtained by Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia in their Citroen C2-R2 MAX backed by BFGoodrich and Total. The Frenchman started the rally with the aim of simply getting to know the legendary stages of the `1000 Lakes'. By the end of the event, he had set one overall fastest stage time in the two-wheel drive category and had also shown himself capable of mixing with and occasionally beating more powerful cars in the Super 1600 and R3 classes. " This was a very beneficial rally for Sebastien, " commented Jean-Francois Lienere. " He adapted himself very quickly to the stages and to the car. Furthermore, the BFGoodrich tyres on the C2-R2 MAX also put in a good performance on the demanding roads of Finland. It's a great result for everybody at Citroen Sport, which underlines the well-known reliability of our cars. "

-credit: citroen

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Martin Prokop , Aaron Burkart , Hans Weijs , Michal Kosciuszko , Sébastien Ogier , Francesco Fanari
Teams Citroën World Rally Team