Bouffier leads the way in Monte
Fiesta driver steers clear of any mishaps on day one
The Frenchman got his 2014 season off to a perfect start by finishing second in his M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta RS WRC. But that result might not have been possible if Bouffier and Panseri hadn’t been able to rely on the goodwill of another crew on SS11.
“I made a big mistake during the recce. I missed a junction – I didn't take the proper road,” Panseri explained. “I did not see that I made this mistake and our gravel crew told me when they passed.”
Realising five kilometres of his pace notes were wrong, Panseri decided to telephone Francois Delecour’s co-driver, Dominique Savignoni, on the road section to see if he could help.
“Dominique gave me his notes for the five kilometres I missed,” Panseri continued. “I wrote down the first three, but then the phone was cutting out and it was not possible to take all five.
“So, for five kilometres we used our notes, then we did three with François Delecour’s notes, then two with Bryan’s eyes and then the final 10 with our notes!”
Despite his pace note drama, Bouffier was pleased with how his rally unfolded. He said: “I wanted to finish on the podium but it’s never easy because you are battling the best teams and drivers in the world.
“I knew it was going to be tough but we really concentrated on our target to make the best tyre choice and that’s what happened.”