The Citroen C2 Super 1600s claim gold and silver
The 7th ADAC Rallye Deutschland finished at lunchtime in front of an enthusiastic crowd that had gathered to cheer on their heroes from every category. The fifth round of the Junior World Rally Championship proved to be extremely positive for the Citroen C2 Super 1600s, which were classified first, second and fourth at the end of the event. Weather conditions were a lot less fickle than usual throughout the rally, with sunshine and dry roads characterising the 352.63 competitive kilometres. Driving a C2 Super 1600 backed by the Equipe de France FFSA, Sebastien Ogier once again put in an excellent performance on his very first World Championship asphalt rally. With nine fastest times out of a possible 16, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia finished 3min34,2s ahead of Aaron Burkart in another C2 Super 1600. « This win is a huge source of satisfaction for both me and my team, » said Sebastien at the finish. « In the absence of my key rivals, it was vital for me to take as many points as possible here in order to claim the advantage in the Junior World Rally Championship. The rally went well for us, but I would have preferred to have continued our duel with Martin Prokop all the way to the finish. At the start of the rally, I saw straight away that I could more or less match his times, so I chose him as my reference point. Luckily I was then able to find the right pace on these very quick stages and maintain it all the way to the end at the Porta Nigra in Trier.
Aaron Burkart took second place on his home event, at the wheel of another Citroen C2 Super 1600. However, the German driver wwwitted that there was nothing he could do about Sebastien Ogier. « I couldn't find the right feeling with the car straight away, » said Burkart. « I also made a couple of mistakes on Saturday that cost me time. But luckily I was able to set some quick times towards the end of the rally, and I'm very happy to take second place now. I wasn't very pleased with my fourth place last year, but this is a result that I can be proud of. » His runner-up spot in Germany means that Aaron has made up a position in the Junior World Rally Championship, climbing to third overall. Citroen drivers now occupy the top three positions in the series.
Shaun Gallagher has hung onto his second place in the Junior World Rally Championship by finishing fourth on the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, thanks particularly to an excellent performance on the final day. The Irishman, who did not really feel at ease on German asphalt, took every opportunity that came his way to stay in contact with the frontrunners. Martin Prokop by contrast was unlucky at the wheel of his own C2 Super 1600: on the second day he broke the car's gearbox, meaning that the Czech driver was unable to complete round five of the Junior World Rally Championship.
What happened to Martin is a real pity, » said Jean-Francois Lienere, who is in charge of Citroen Sport's customer competition programme. « He lost the chance of scoring a good haul of championship points but had the ability to feature amongst the frontrunners. Nonetheless, it's been an extremely positive event for Citroen thanks to the great results from the other three C2 Super 1600s, which are all amongst the top four places. Our cars have already shown themselves to be fast on gravel, and we can see again here that they are just as quick on asphalt. Ogier can now add his name to those of Sola, Meeke, Sordo and Prokop: all past winners of the Juniors in Germany at the wheel of a Citroen.
The C2-R2 MAX drivers had mixed fortunes. On the first day, Hans Weijs had a technical problem and then he retired from day two for going beyond the permitted lateness. Nonetheless, the Dutch driver set some very quick times during the first loop of stages on Saturday that rivalled those laid down by the Super 1600 cars. Jean-Francois Lienere added: « As was the case in Finland with Sebastien Ogier, Hans Weijs amply demonstrated just how competitive our Citroen C2-R2 MAX is.
He managed to set stage times that rivalled those of the Super 1600 cars, particularly with a fourthfastest time on SS7. » Finally Francesco Fanari – who says that he is not a fan of asphalt – dropped time with a gearbox problem. The Italian eventually finished 9th with the other Citroen C2-R2 MAX.
Juniors final leaderboard on "Rallye Deutschland"* 1. S.Ogier/J.Ingrassia (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 3h 47 min 36,0s 2. A.Burkart/M.Koelbach (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 3 min 34,2s 3. A.Bettega/S.Scattolin (Renault Clio R3) + 5 min 14,4s 4. S.Gallagher/M.Morrissey (Citroen C2 Super 1600) + 5 min 40,9s 5. S.Bertolotti/D.Vernuccio (Renault Clio R3) + 11 min 15,7s 6. K.Abbring/E.Mombaerts (Renault Clio R3) + 22 min 21,9s 7. A.Cortinovis/G.Guzzi (Renault Clio S1600) + 23 min 19,5s 8. F.Niegel/A.Kachel (Suzuki Swift S1600) + 24 min 59,9s 9. F.Fanari/M.Bosi (Citroen C2-R2 MAX) + 32 min 46,3s 10. S.Albertini/P.Capolongo (Renault Clio R3) + 36 min 06,8s
FIA Juniors rankings after "ADAC Rallye Deutschland"* 1. Sebastien Ogier : 34 pts 2. Shaun Gallagher : 25 pts 3. Aaron Burkart : 24 pts 4. Michal Kosciuszko : 22 pts 5. Patrick Sandell : 14 pts 6. Alessandro Bettega : 14 pts 7. Martin Prokop : 12 pts 8. Jaan Molder : 8 pts 9. Gilles Schammel : 8 pts 10. Stefano Albertini : 7 pts 11. Simone Bertolotti : 7 pts 12. Florian Niegel : 6 pts 13. Kevin Abbring : 6 pts 14. Andrea Cortinovis : 4 pts 15. Hans Weijs : 2 pts 16. Francesco Fanari : 1 pt 17. Milos Komljenovic : 1 pt