Stéphane Lefebvre hopes the anniversary of his World Rally Car debut at this week’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland (18 - 21 August) will confirm the progress he has made in the intervening 12 months.
The 24-year-old Frenchman finished 10th on the tricky German asphalt last year on his debut in Citroën’s DS 3. He returns this year in a privately-entered car hoping for a top-five finish as he strives to secure a full-time works drive in 2017.
The 2014 Junior WRC champion has eight World Rally Car outings to his name with a best finish of fifth at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, and matching that is his target.
“It’s never easy to make predictions because the standings can also be affected by racing incidents. After finishing fifth in Monte-Carlo, I would like to do at least as well here. Obviously, I’d love to finish on the podium, but I’d be very pleased if I end up fourth or fifth,” he said.
“This is one of my favourite rallies. Ever since it was added to the WRC calendar, I have been coming each year as a spectator. Last year, it was my first rally in a World Rally Car. I wanted to have another go here to confirm and show the progress I have made.”
Lefebvre has shared a part-time programme with Kris Meeke and Craig Breen in the Abu Dhabi Total squad this year as Citroën develops a new car for 2017’s revamped regulations. It did not include Germany but private funding has enabled the entry in a PH Sport-run DS 3 (above).
“As soon as I knew that the Abu Dhabi Total WRT’s programme would not include Germany, I started trying to put the necessary budget together. I managed to get the partners that supported me during my Junior WRC campaign on board, along with a few good friends who got into the idea,” he explained.
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