WRC

CITROËN TOP DRIVER – ADAC RALLY DEUTSCHLAND – 22-25 AUGUST 2013 – 
CITROËN TOP DRIVER: TIME FOR THE TARMAC
 –

commallemagneAfter three hotly-contested rounds on gravel, the second half of the Citroën Top Driver season begins with two consecutive rallies on tarmac, before the concluding round on the Rally of Great Britain. With eight DS3 R3s starting the German meeting, it looks like there could be a fierce battle in store.

As the Citroën Top Driver teams approach the mid-season mark, the standard in the Citroën competition has so far proved very high. After Bryan Bouffier’s triumph in Portugal, Sébastien Chardonnet and Quentin Gilbert then shared the lead, before giving way to Keith Cronin after Rally Finland. The particular difficulties posed by the diverse racing surfaces have brought the strengths of the different drivers to the fore. The German round will be one more stage in the development of these champions in the making.

Some may expect the asphalt specialists to dominate here, but none of the drivers competing is new to the surface and, according to local boy Christian Riedemann, the result is far from a foregone conclusion: “Most of the teams in the Top Driver have good experience on tarmac. So the gaps are going to be very small and the way in which the drivers manage their race will be crucial. In any case, we will do all we can to win our home rally and try to get up in the top three of the overall standings.”

The structure of the rally will be the same as in previous years, except for the first day, which will begin with a starting ceremony at the magnificent Cologne cathedral, followed by two new stages, “Blankenheim” and “Sauertal” on the way back towards Trier.

Keith Cronin, who heads the Top Driver standings at present, will be drawing on all his experience on this kind of surface to keep his advantage. He will, however, have to contend with a strong challenge from Sébastien Chardonnet. The young Frenchman, currently lying second in the competition, just three points behind the Irishman, will be aiming for nothing less than victory on a course of which he is particularly fond.

“I know it won’t be easy,” said Keith. “But I also know that I can get a good result in Germany because I like driving on tarmac and the DS3 R3 is able to adapt to all surfaces and conditions. We have all the cards we need up our sleeve to have a successful race. It’s up to us to play them intelligently.”

Third in the standings at the moment, Quentin Gilbert will not be there to make up the numbers. More at ease on gravel, the 2012 French Citroën Racing Trophy champion has addressed his shortcomings on tarmac and is sure to keep pace with the leaders.

Simone Campedelli, who is back on his favourite surface, will have the same goals. Short of success at the moment, the young Italian prospect will be highly motivated to pick up his first win of the season. Stéphane Consani, who has shown his turn of speed and his potential in previous rounds, will be keen to turn that potential into results in Germany. Frederico Della Casa could spring a surprise in this first tarmac rally.

A new team will be joining the Citroën Top Driver championship in Trier. Mohammed Al Mutawaa and his navigator Stephen McAuley will be taking part in their first world rally. The Emirati driver has been competing in the Middle East championship in a DS3 R3 this season after winning the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Selection, and will have everything to learn on a surface he has never driven on in a rally before.

“We are moving into a new phase of the competition, with a change of surface for the next two rounds. Our drivers all have real ability on asphalt and it will be a closely-fought battle. To win, they must show intelligence and avoid mistakes,” says Marek Nawarecki, Citroën Racing’s Client-Competition Manager. “Rally Germany will also play host to a national Citroën Racing Trophy Junior race, in which DS3 R1 are involved. It will be interesting to see how the teams get on in a world event. Jordan Berfa, who has just won the last round of the Trophy Junior in France, will also be involved in his DS3 R1. So it looks like there is an interesting weekend in store at all levels of competition!”

 

CITROËN TOP DRIVER STANDINGS

1. CRONIN: 51 pts

2. CHARDONNET: 48 pts

3. GILBERT: 36 pts

4. BOUFFIER: 27 pts

5. RIEDEMANN: 25 pts

6. CAMPEDELLI: 18 pts

7. VAINIONPÄÄ: 15 pts

8. FISHER: 13 pts

9. DELLA CASA: 8 pts

10. CONSANI: 6 pts

11. PARLI: 4 pts

 

CITROËN TOP DRIVER TEAM STANDINGS

1. TOP TEAMS: 84 pts

2. CHARLES HURST CITROEN BELFAST: 76 pts

3. DELTA RALLY TEAM: 33 pts

4. SAINTELOC RACING: 31 pts

 

ADAC RALLY DEUTSCHLAND TEAM LINEUPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEAMS

 

DRIVERS

 

CTD DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP + FIA WRC3

 

CTD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

 

TOP TEAMS

 

Sébastien CHARDONNETQuentin GILBERT

YES

 

YES

 

DELTA RALLYE TEAM

 

Federico DELLA CASA

YES

 

NO

 

SAINTELOC RACING

 

Simone CAMPEDELLIStéphane CONSANI

YES

 

YES

 

CHARLES HURST CITROËN BELFAST

 

Keith CRONINChristian RIEDEMANN

YES

 

YES

 

ABU DHABI RACING

 

AL MUTAWAA

YES

 

NO