Citroen and Prokop finish with a flourish At the start of this rally, all the Junior drivers knew that they had to make the most of the capabilities of their cars in order to finish amongst the frontrunners. So it was mission accomplished for...
Citroen and Prokop finish with a flourish
At the start of this rally, all the Junior drivers knew that they had to make the most of the capabilities of their cars in order to finish amongst the frontrunners. So it was mission accomplished for the Citroen drivers who ended the final round of the season in first and third places just like Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti in the WRC classification.
Martin Prokop and Jan Tomanek rounded the year off with a victory after a perfect rally. They did not make a single mistake, demonstrating total mastery of their Citroen C2 Super 1600, and this is what led them to the top step of the podium in Corsica. The Jipocar Racing driver collected his second win of the season, following his victory in Germany. By scoring 10 points in the championship, he has confirmed his third place in the Junior standings. " I'm very pleased with this success but also sad because it means this is the end of the season. I'll be back in the C2 Junior Experience next year for a crack at the Junior title " said Martin at the end of the final stage. By proving himself to be the most talented driver in the C2 Junior Experience and finishing third overall in the championship, Martin will be rewarded with a test in a Citroen WRC car. Yves Matton, Citroen Sport's customer competitions manager, drew a positive conclusion from Martin's season. " He's ended the year in the most positive of ways and he'll certainly be a strong candidate for victory next year, " said Matton. " He proved over the last half of the year that he could be quick and resist the pressure from his rivals. His progress since the start of the year will be confirmed again next season. "
Behind him, third place finally went to Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud on the penultimate stage with Conrad Rautenbach having been the victim of a puncture. In his first event with the C2 Super 1600, Yoann put in a very good performance. He set nearly all the fastest times during the last two days, and claimed his first podium of the year. Having contested only four events of the Junior Championship, Yoann is nonetheless still in the top 10. " He has really confirmed the potential that he showed on his previous three rallies with the Citroen C2-R2, " said Yves Matton. " Unfortunately, a puncture during the opening leg deprived him of the chance to fight for a victory that I believe he would have been fully capable of. " Aaron Burkart was unfortunately not able to turn in the performance that he had hoped for. The German went off the road during the second leg, losing too much time for him to try and get back onto the podium. He finished seventh, which was also his overall championship classification at the end of the year. Conrad Rautenbach was unlucky at the beginning of the year, and suffered the same bad luck at the end of it. While he was a comfortable third in Corsica, a double puncture saw him lose more than eight minutes on the final day. He was forced to relinquish his hopes of a podium and a strong finish to the championship, in which he was finally classified eighth. Marc Amourette's strong performance in a C2 Super 1600 was also worthy of note, thanks to a strong 15th place finish just behind the WRC cars. He demonstrated that he was perfectly on the Junior Championship pace, by finishing first of the Super 1600 cars.
In the C2-R2 category, Stefano Benoni enjoyed a perfect rally. After being led by Vilius Rozukas during
the first leg, the Italian then took over the class lead, who proved his performance by keeping up a
consistently promising pace all weekend. He won the rookie class, and finished 10th at the end of the
rally. " After a shaky start, Stefano has had a fantastic end to the season " said Yves Matton. " His
performances have finally allowed him to consistently challenge for victory in the R2 class. " In 13th
place, Raphael Auquier had several adventures during the rally but finished with a strong final day. At
the end of the year, he finishes third in the rookies championship. Vilius Rozukas ended the event
under the SupeRally system. Having broken the gearbox on Saturday, the Lithuanian then fell victim to
a double puncture this morning. Nonetheless he showed plenty of potential on this event and ended it
14th. The final C2-R2 driver, Gilles Schammel, retired before the start of leg two with an engine
problem. At the end of the year, Shaun Gallagher is the driver who has accumulated the most points in
the category. The Irishman, who did not nominate Corsica as one of his scoring rounds, followed the
event from home. He therefore wins the prize that has been earmarked for the highest-scoring Citroen
C2-R2 driver. Citroen Sport will give him a free drive on the Wales Rally GB in his C2-R2.
Junior Championship classification:
Rallye de France Tour de Corse, at end of leg three
1. M. Prokop/J. Tomanek (Citroen C2 Super 1600) 3h 52 min 31,0 s 2. J. Beres/ P. Stary (Renault Clio) + 12,5 s 3. Y. Bonato/B. Boulloud (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 1 min 14,2 s 4. P-G Andersson/J. Andersson (Suzuki Swift) + 2 min 18,0 s 5. A. Augoyard/X. Panseri (Renault Clio) + 5 min 08,2 s 6. A. Cortinovis/F. Zanella (Renault Clio) + 6 min 13,0 s 7. A. Burkart/M. Kolbach (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 6 min 13,1 s 8. C. Rautenbach/D. Senior (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 6 min 30,1 s 9. M. Kosciuszko/M. Szczepaniak (Renault Clio) + 6 min 54,7 s 10. S. Benoni/A. Mari (Citroen C2-R2) + 17 min 24,2 s .../... 13. R. Auquier/C. Pirotte (Citroen C2-R2) + 28 min 00,2 s 14. V. Rozukas/A. Shoshas (Citroen C2-R2) + 57 min 29,1 s