22 Apr 08
Four Citroen C2 drivers will take the start of The Jordan Rally, at the wheel of the Super 1600, C2-R2 MAX and C2-R2 variants.
After taking part in the recce for Rally Argentina, 24-year-old Sebastien Ogier heads the C2 entry list in his Super 1600 model run by PH-Sport.
Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia will be attempting to repeat their victory in Mexico and score maximum points in the J-WRC - which they are currently leading. “We start this rally with the same objective as we had in Mexico, said Ogier. “We’ve got to try and get to the finish without breaking the car and avoid punctures. Of course we were very pleased by the result in Mexico, but we’re keeping our feet firmly on the ground. There’s bound to be a lot of stiff competition in Jordan with the arrival of some new drivers. Equally, nobody knows what the stages will be like, so it’s very hard to predict how we might get on until we arrive there.”
In the R2 class, Jordan will be the place where the new Citroen C2-R2 MAX makes its debut outside Europe. Hans Weijs Jr and his navigator Hans van Goor will drive the car prepared by Belgian team My Racing, which is backed by the Dutch Motorsport Federation. Despite being only 21-years-old Hans has already accumulated plenty of motorsport experience and can’t wait to make his J-WRC debut. “I’m sure to learn a lot through competing against ambitious young drivers like myself,” said Wiejs Jr. “Jordan will be my very first Junior World Championship rally, and above all it will also be my first chance to drive the Citroen C2-R2 MAX in competition. I was able to drive the car for the first time at its official launch in France, along with Simon Jean-Joseph and Sébastien Ogier. So I’m starting a big new challenge along with my team, and I’m hoping to be as far up the classification as possible by the end of the rally.”
Francisco Fanari will complete the R2 line-up in his Citroen C2-R2. Following his debut in Mexico, he will try to avoid the punctures that cost him a place in the final classification. “I’m very keen to get going as I have not been testing since Mexico,” said Fanari. “I don’t know a lot about this all-new event, but Gigi Galli’s co-driver has told me that the stages in the area are fantastic; very quick and very wide. I’ll have the smaller-engined car for Jordan, and my objective will be to get to the finish of the rally without any problems. I’ve got a good feeling with the car but naturally I prefer the C2-R2 MAX, which would allow me to compete on equal terms with my rivals. I should have this new car in time for the Sardinia Rally.”
As Martin Prokop and Aaron Burkart chose to skip Rally Jordan in their 2008 schedules, Shaun Gallagher will be the only entrant in Citroen’s competition within the J-WRC series, the C2 Junior experience. Driving a C2 Super 1600, the Irishman, who struggled in the extreme heat of Mexico, is aiming to make back the lost ground. “Jordan is an entirely new rally so I don’t really know what to expect,” explained Gallagher. “Whatever happens, I hope that we can get a better result than we did in Mexico. Martin Prokop and Aaron Burkart - my key rivals - won’t be there, and I want to take advantage of their absence to score the maximum possible points. The challenge for me and the team will be to try and take a podium.”