CITROËN C3R5 CUSTOMERS MONOPOLISE RALLYE MONTE-CARLO TOP-FIVE IN RC2 CLASS
This year's particularly punishing Rallye Monte-Carlo saw Citroën crews showcase the C3R5's competitive potential by monopolising the top five places in the RC2 class. Two of them even concluded the event inside the top 10 overall, a result that couldn't have got Citroën Racing's reinforced 2020 Customer Competition programme off to a more resounding start. Frenchmen Eric Camilli / François-Xavier Buresi (Saintéloc Racing) overcame the rally's traditional mix of challenges to top the RC2 and WRC3 orders from start to finish, completing the distance 39.6 seconds clear of Norway’s Mads Østberg / Torstein Eriksen (PH Sport) who secured an assertive win in the WRC2 category.
- The 88th Rallye Monte-Carlo lived up to the winter classic's reputation and proved complex on both the sporting and technical fronts due to the week's changeable, unpredictable weather conditions. Untiring development work has resulted in a competitive and reliable car, while the C3R5 runners benefited from Citroën Racing's support ahead of and during the rally in the form of a test session organised the week before the rally and the attendance of technical support staff on the event itself, while Citroën Racing's partners Météo France, Michelin and Total made their own contributions to the result.
- The experience and consistency of Nice-based Eric Camilli, who was contesting the Rallye Monte-Carlo for the fifth time, helped him to claim the WRC3 win and earn the Citroën C3R5's maiden RC2 victory in the Principality.
- Mads Østberg and his co-driver Torstein Eriksen combined second place in RC2 with victory in WRC2 to get their 2020 title chances off to a perfect start. Mads' confidence behind the wheel of his PH Sport-run C3R5 helped him to post six fastest stage wins, as well as the second-best RC2 time on the Power Stage.
- Nicolas Ciamin, 21, concluded his maiden outing in the C3R5 with a podium finish thanks to a mature performance. Experience can count for a great deal on the Rallye Monte-Carlo, but the Nice-based youngster didn't put a foot wrong and posted consistent stage times, not far off those clocked by the class's front-runners. Third place is a great start to the year for Nicolas who has a full WRC3 programme in his DG Sport-run car this season.
- Competing this year in the WRC3 category, Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud had trouble finding the ideal pace on this year's Rallye Monte Carlo and failed to repeat the WRC2 win they secured in 2019 in their CHL Sport Auto-tended C3R5. The two-time French champions are expected to bounce back when they next appear in the 2020 WRC in parallel to their programme with Citroën in their home championship.
- Yohan Rossel, who was recruited by PSA Motorsport in 2019, produced a risk-free display on this year's Rallye Monte-Carlo, his first WRC appearance in the C3R5. He met his objective which was to gain experience without making any mistakes. His next WRC3 outing will be May's Rally de Portugal which will see him back in the PH Sport C3R5 with the aim of building on his speed and confidence.
Didier Clément (Customer Competition Manager, Citroën Racing):
"It's superb to see that five of the six C3R5s that started this year's Rallye Monte-Carlo ended up monopolising the top five places. Despite the extremely tricky conditions, the car proved strong and our customers enjoyed solid runs. I would also like to salute the work put in by all the technical staff. The Monte Carlo is such a long event but everyone stayed focused throughout to earn a great result for the C3R5. I am proud of the work accomplished by everyone involved and I would like to thank our partners Total and Michelin for allowing us to support these WRC2 and WRC3 programmes."
Eric Camilli (1st, WRC3 / 1st, RC2 / 9th overall):
"I am thrilled to have won the RC2 class on this year's Rallye Monte-Carlo. We took the lead on SS1 and then succeeded in managing from in front while continuing to push hard, which is never easy in the sort of conditions an event like the Monte Carlo can throw at you. It was my co-driver François-Xavier's first world championship start but he performed faultlessly, as did our Safety Crew whose input also facilitated our job. We had tremendous fun in the C3R5 and I would like to thank Saintéloc Racing for providing us with a perfect car. I also want to thank Citroën and its partners Total and Michelin for giving us the opportunity to contest this fantastic event."
Mads Østberg (1st, WRC2 / 2nd, RC2 / 10th overall):
"We are very pleased with our performance this week, although we were unlucky on Friday when we dropped around 2m40s due to a damaged wheel rim. Our car was competitive from the start and we managed to close the gap to Eric. He performed very well, though, and we knew it would be hard to win the class unless he made a mistake. We were split by less than 40 seconds at the finish but the main thing is that we came first in WRC2. Even if we had succeeded in passing Eric, that's something that wouldn't have changed. It was great to see an all-Citroën top five, and all the hard work put in last year means we should be able to target other victories this season."
2020 RALLYE MONTE-CARLO - FINAL POSITIONS (RC2):
#27 1. Eric Camilli / F.X. Buresi (WRC3) 3:24:39.8
#20 2. Mads Østberg / T. Eriksen (WRC2) +39.6
#28 3. Nicolas Ciamin / Y. Roche (WRC3) +1:21.8
#26 4. Yoann Bonato / B. Boulloud (WRC3) +2:03.8
#31 5. Yohan Rossel / B. Fulcrand (WRC3) +2:38.0
#30 6. Muster / Louka (WRC3) +3:19.8
#23 7. Fourmaux / Jamoul (WRC2) +4:11.0
#21 8. Gryazin / Fedorov (WRC2) +6:05.2
#42 9. Burri / Levratti (WRC3) +13:31.1
#24 10. Yates / Morgan (WRC2) +13:42.6
WRC2 DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
- Mads Østberg / T. Eriksen 25 points
- Fourmaux / Jamoul 18 points
- Gryazin / Fedorov 15 points
- Yates / Morgan 12 points
WRC3 DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
- Eric Camilli / F.X. Buresi 25 points
- Nicolas Ciamin / Y. Roche 18 points
- Yoann Bonato / B. Boulloud 15 points
- Yohan Rossel / B. Fulcrand 12 points
- Muster / Louka 10 points
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