Day 2: Three Citroen C2 Super 1600s in the top five After an introduction to the Finnish stages on Friday, the drivers set off today for the longest leg of the entire rally. Three loops of three stages were on the menu, making up no fewer than...
Day 2: Three Citroen C2 Super 1600s in the top five
After an introduction to the Finnish stages on Friday, the drivers set off today for the longest leg of the entire rally. Three loops of three stages were on the menu, making up no fewer than 168.52 competitive kilometres of action. Martin Prokop was locked in a fierce battle with his key rival Michal Kosciuszko throughout the day, ending it with a 48.4 second lead over the second-placed driver Patrik Sandell. Shaun Gallagher and Aaron Burkart, who have been closely-matched since the start of the event, return to parc ferme tonight occupying fourth and fifth positions in the Junior classification respectively.
As for the C2-R2 MAX drivers, Francesco Fanari enjoyed a near-perfect day. Despite his promising times though, the Italian was unable to make any headway in the overall classification. Hans Weijs encountered some problems from the first stage this morning, and so ends the day in ninth position.
Sebastien Ogier is not competing in the Junior Championship on this event, but continued to make his way up the leaderboard. Driving a PH-Sport prepared C2-R2 MAX and running on BFGoodrich tyres, the young Frenchman even set a fastest stage time overall in the Juniors on SS20.
Aaron Burkart (D) Michael Koelbach (D) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" I lost a lot of time today. This morning the road was not at all clean and there were some quite big rocks at the sides. Unfortunately I hit one, but luckily it did not damage the car. In the second loop, I experienced some problems when changing gear, so we decided to change the gearbox at service. We ended the day well, with a second-fastest time on SS20. I'm going to try and keep going at a good pace tomorrow in order to hold onto my fourth place. "
Francesco Fanari (I) Fabio Andrian (I) (Citroen C2-R2 MAX)
" I'm pleased to have finally got going! I really enjoyed myself on the stages today. I had no problems at all with my C2-R2 MAX and built up a better feeling with the car as the day progressed. That's really satisfying for both me and my team after all the hard work we have put in. I'm also pleased with our stage times. We were quicker than Hans [Weijs] in the other C2-R2 MAX and we were sixth-fastest on both SS18 and SS20. I hope that we can maintain our progress throughout the last day. "
Shaun Gallagher (EI) Paul Kiely (EI) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" This was quite a physically hard day for us. You've really got to `fight' the roads to steer clear of trouble, and I am sure that is where I was losing too much time. I still don't really understand though why the stage times aren't coming to us generally. At least we've kept our overall position in the Junior standings, even though we were held back by a puncture on the penultimate stage of the day. "
Sebastien Ogier (FR) Julien Ingrassia (FR) (Citroen C2-R2 MAX)
" It wasn't an easy day. We made a few driving mistakes, particularly on SS17 where we spun. Apart from that, the rest of the day went quite well. We've had a lot of fun and we've gradually begun to up the pace. Often we've found ourselves only a few seconds off the fastest Junior times, so we hope to continue using those times as a reference point in order for us to improve our own performances. The C2-R2 MAX has shown itself to be fully competitive with the Super 1600 cars, which underlines just how good it is. "
Martin Prokop (CZ) Jan Tomanek (CZ) (Citroen C2 Super 1600)
" I started off this morning with the aim of reclaiming the lead in the Juniors, which I managed to do on the first stage of the day. Unfortunately, I then hit a rock and that lost me some time, as well as provoking a few difficulties in changing gear. We fixed the problem at service and I was able to attack again so that we could fight with Kosciuszko once more. Naturally I'm pleased to have a 48.4 second lead tonight, but I would have preferred it to happen through normal driving rather than incidents. "
Hans Weijs (NL) Hans Van Goor (NL) (Citroen C2-R2 MAX)
" On the first stage of the morning, I hit the front of my C2 on a corner and lost the sump guard. A puncture didn't help matters, and I lost a bit more time. In the overall classification the gaps are too big for me to overcome now, but I'm still pleased to be in front of the R2 class. "