Saturday | 27 Nov 2021

Rossel eyes WRC2 upgrade

WRC3 champion Yohan Rossel has teased plans to step up to the WRC’s premier support category in 2022.

Rossel clinched the title at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza last Sunday (21 November) after a rally-long tussle with Škoda Fabia Rally2 rival Kajetan Kajetanowicz which went down to the very last stage. 

However, the Citroën C3 Rally2 star is not resting on his laurels and has already revealed plans to progress to WRC2 - the division between WRC3 and the WRC’s top-flight - in 2022. 

“Honestly, I hope this will just be one step for my career and in 2022 I hope for a full programme in WRC2,” Rossel admitted. 

“I think [the plan is to drive in] WRC2 with Citroën, but it is not clear at the moment. In a few days I think it is okay, because Monte-Carlo is just two months away. If we need to win then we [need to] prepare now,” he added. 

If he were to make the step to WRC2, Rossel would likely come up against stiff competition. 

His fellow WRC3 driver Chris Ingram is also planning an assault on the series next year, whilst current champion Andreas Mikkelsen has confirmed he will defend his crown at the season opener. Nikolay Gryazin, who set the WRC2 pace in Monza, is also expected to return. 

But the Frenchman also wants to savour his 2021 success. He has had a strong year, with victories in Monte Carlo, Italy and Belgium. 

There were lows too, including his disqualification from EKO Acropolis Rally Greece in September and the loss of his co-driver Alex Coria, who was snapped up by M-Sport Ford hotshot Adrien Fourmaux part-way through the season.

Greece disqualification was a blow

Rossel’s championship win came right at the death. He started the final Monza test 1.6sec behind Kajetanowicz, but edged the Pole by 4.7sec with a late charge and moved ahead to seal glory. 

“It was crazy,” he explained, “I had a lot of issues with my season, with a change of co-driver and being disqualified after Greece and things like that. For the whole team and everyone helping me it’s just perfect to end like this. 

“The feeling was just crazy at the end. It was so close with Kajetan and I had just one target and that was to go flat out. I pushed for the Power Stage and all was okay and my concentration was on the driving. It was perfect.”

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