The power of youth!
Newsletter CitroŽn Racing Trophy nį7 Ė April 2010

Finally, the international rally season is well and truly underway. All over Europe, a number of CitroŽn C2-R2 MAXs and C2 Super 1600s have been competing within the different CitroŽn Racing Trophy series. In the United Kingdom and Czech Republic, the 2010 season kicked off with the first successes from some talented up-and-coming young rally drivers. Mark Donnelly (United Kingdom) and Jan Cernż (Czech Republic) represent a new generation of drivers, along with Marty McCormack (Ireland), Thierry Neuville (Belgium) and Hans Weijs Jr. (The Netherlands). Thanks to the competition put in place by the CitroŽn Racing Trophy, these stars of tomorrow have the chance to pit themselves against the established frontrunners. For example, the battle between Thierry Neuville and Marc Amourette on the Rallye du Touquet will remain in peoplesí memories for a long time. Having been beaten on home territory, Amourette got his revenge a few weeks later. On the first gravel event of the season, he won the Rallye des Causses.

France - Rallye Le Touquet Pas de Calais

The CitroŽn Racing Trophy puts on a show

The first eagerly anticipated meeting of the French rally season lived up to all expectations. A total of 17 C2s started the Rallye Le Touquet-Pas de Calais, the opening round of the French Rally Championship. The C2-R2s and Super 1600s were a constant highlight of the event, which was held in typically damp conditions.

Two of the CitroŽns soon stood out from the pack: Marc Amourette (C2 Super 1600) and Thierry Neuville (C2-R2 MAX). They exchanged the lead of the CitroŽn Racing Trophy on several different occasions.

Throughout his first visit to the Le Touquet, Thierry Neuville fought at the front from start to finish, winning the CitroŽn Racing Trophy by placing his C2-R2 MAX fifth overall. ďWe drove well, even though we made a few small mistakes that we need to correct for the future,Ē commented the Belgian at the finish. ďIt was really great to experience such a fantastic battle. And as always, the car was perfect.Ē

Event specialist Marc Amourette, who comes from the local area, finished sixth overall, about a dozen seconds behind his rival. ďIt was a thrilling rally from beginning to end, with an amazing duel for first place,Ē he said. ďEven though we were Ďonlyí second in the Trophy, we really enjoyed ourselves behind the wheel of the C2 Super 1600. I canít wait to drive it again!Ē

Behind the unstoppable duo, Irishman Marty McCormack enjoyed a successful trip to the Pas-de-Calais region by finishing third in the CitroŽn Racing Trophy with his C2-R2 MAX, in front of Jean-Renaud Marchal, Nicolas Gajek and Vincent Ural.

France - Rallye Terre des Causses
Marc Amourette, again!

The CitroŽn C2-R2 MAXs were in action again on the first round of the French Gravel Championship, held in the Aveyron region in the south of France. Emmanuel Gascou was quickest out of the blocks before being passed by Frantz Comoli. But it was the irrepressible Marc Amourette who ended the opening leg in the lead. Amourette capitalised on his progress the following day by taking Group R victory in front of Emmanuel Gascou and Nicolas Gajek. Jean-FranÁois Bťrenguer, a great rival of Sťbastien Loeb on the CitroŽn one-make championships back in the late 1990s, made his debut in the 2010 CitroŽn Racing Trophy on the Rallye Terre des Causses.

Coupe de France
Rebout, Vauclare and Capannaccia in the spotlight

A total of six CitroŽn C2 came together for the Rallye Epernay-Vins de Champagne. Dominique Rebout was driving a C2 Super 1600, which he took to fifth place overall. In the R2 class, victory went to local man Eddy Berthelot in front of Laurent Viana and Eric Cunin. A strong contingent of C2-R2 MAX entries also took the start of the Rallye Pays de Gier, based at Saint-Chamond. Germain Bonnefis was the leader after the opening leg, but victory went to Jean-Luc Vauclare, in front of Dimitri Felices and Julien Brunero at the finish. The Ronde de Giraglia Ė a rally held on roads around Bastia, in Corsica Ė gave Olivier Capannaccia his first points when he finished ninth overall.
On the stages of the Rallye Grasse Fleurs et Parfums, taking in two passages over the legendary Col de Bleine, Sťbastien Chardonnet finished seventh overall in his CitroŽn C2-R2 MAX in front of Christian Figuereo.

United Kingdom - Bulldog International Rally North Wales
Irish domination in Wales

The first round of the CitroŽn Racing Trophy UK was dominated by a crew from Ireland. On the roads of Wales, Northern Irishman Mark Donnelly and his co-driver Paddy Robinson, from the Republic of Ireland, swept up all the fastest times on the eight stages of the Bulldog Rally in their new C2-R2 MAX. They finished in front of Robert Barrable and Australiaís Molly Taylor.

Ireland Ė Circuit of Ireland
Donnelly masterful on all surfaces

One week after having claimed the Bulldog Rally, Mark Donnelly won again on asphalt at the Circuit of Ireland: the second round of the Irish CitroŽn Racing Trophy. The 18-year-old driver from Omagh finished in front of Marty McCormack and Adrian McElhinney in the town of Newry.

Czech Republic Ė Rally Valaska
Jan Cernż shows his class

In the different CitroŽn Racing Trophy series held all over Europe, more and more young hopefuls are displaying their talents. In the Czech Republic, one of the most promising young drivers is called Jan Cernż. On the first round of the season, the Rally Valaska, Cernż Ė co-driven by Pavel Kohout Ė won in front of TomŠö Pletka and David StavjanŪk.

Benelux Ė Tank S Rally
Hans Weijs puts on a master class

Having won on Belgian asphalt at the first round of the season, Hans Weijs took another victory on the stages of the Tank S Rally in the Netherlands. The Dutch Federation driver put in a masterful display on the second round, against drivers from Belgium and Luxembourg who were getting to grips with the terrain for the first time, in the north of Holland. Behind Weijs, Xavier Baugnet promised to get his own back in Belgium, on stages that are more familiar to him.

Portugal Ė Rallye Serras de Fafe
Advantage Paulo Antunes

Paulo Antunes dominated the pack of CitroŽn C2-R2 MAXs on the Rallye Serras de Fafe, which utilised stages that previously formed part of the famed Portugal Rally in the WRC. Ivo Nogueira set the fastest time on the first stage before retiring on SS2. Paulo Antunes then set a series of fastest times to finish on the podium of the two-wheel drive class. Ricardo Marques, who was third of the C2-R2s behind Frederico Gomes, continues to lead the CitroŽn Racing Trophy after two rounds.

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