07 Feb 08
Jean-Marie Cuoq, the French privateer driver who finished Rallye Monte Carlo in the top ten placings in 2007 and 2008, has had his competition licence suspended, and has been stripped of his 2007 national asphalt championship title.
A folk hero driver from the Ardeche region, Cuoq was found guilty of illegal reconnaissance in French championship events. Two other drivers had their points from the 2007 asphalt series removed for the same reason. The case against Cuoq was extraordinary, because the French federation accepted the admission of Cuoq's former co-driver David Marty, who testified that the one occasion when Cuoq was caught by rally organisers (at the end-of-season Rallye du Var) was only one of many times that Cuoq had broken the reconnaissance rules.
Cuoq was also acclaimed the French national gravel champion, a series with different reconnaissance rules, and in this instance his title is to be retained. Whether the 2007 asphalt series is to be declared void, or whether the driver Patrick Henry will inherit the title, is yet to be decided.