A thrilling finale for Citroen As was the case last year, the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse hosts the final round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. The Junior drivers will therefore have a third and final chance to get in some asphalt...
A thrilling finale for Citroen As was the case last year, the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse hosts the final round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. The Junior drivers will therefore have a third and final chance to get in some asphalt practice this year. On this occasion, Citroen will be represented by three C2 Super 1600s and one C2-R2 MAX. Shaun Gallagher (C2 Super 1600) and Francesco Fanari (C2-R2 MAX) will both be absent as they have not nominated Corsica in their programme.
The drivers will face 1094.36 kilometres, 359.02 of which will be competitive. The rally is based as usual in the town of Ajaccio in southern Corsica, an idyllic landscape of mountains and sea for the final Junior round of the year. The crews will be challenged by 16 special stages, and they are all hoping for decent weather on them. The rally will venture to the north of Ajaccio only on the second day, with the rest of the route run around Propriano.
Jean-Francois Lienere, who is in charge of Citroen Sport's customer competition programme, commented : " Corsica clearly marks a turning point in the championship, as the outcome of it will once more be decided there. It's also a very important event for Citroen this year, as our C2 Super 1600s currently occupy the top four places in the championship. The drivers will therefore be anxious to score as many points as possible, in order to maintain or improve upon their positions. "
The pre-event favourite is Frenchman Sebastien Ogier, who is backed by Citroen, the Equipe de France FFSA and the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse. Sebastien said : " I start the rally with a small points advantage but I need to do a good job in Corsica. I would naturally be absolutely delighted to win the title, which would be a just reward for the PH- Sport team and all our mechanics for the hard work put in all year, as well as our partners. In order to do that though, we need to get to the end of three tough days and beat our German rival to the title. "
That man is Aaron Burkart, who currently occupies second place in the standings jointly with Shaun Gallagher. Jean-Francois Lienere pointed out : " Shaun has decided not to include Corsica in his programme this year, so he won't be scoring any more points this season. This means that he will have to wait until the end of Corsica before knowing where he has ended up in the overall standings. Aaron Burkart will need to take advantage of this last chance he has been given to claim a top result in the Juniors. His result in Spain has made him the only person able to deprive Sebastien Ogier of the championship. So we all look forward to a thrilling duel. "
Martin Prokop will also want to figure well in the final round of the championship. The Czech Jipocar driver, who won in Finland and also in Spain, now has a good chance of ending up on the end of year podium. " I really hope to end the season in the best way possible, " said Prokop. " I won in Corsica last year, which meant that I took third place in the championship. I need to make sure that I do the same, or preferably even better, in a few days' time ! "
Finally, Hans Weijs will be the only driver competing with a Citroen C2-R2 MAX. The Dutchman put in an excellent performance in Spain but was forced to retire after going off the road on Sunday. He will be looking to put this disappointment behind him and end the season on a high in Corsica.