Thu 20 Jan 2022

WRC2: Camilli in front after Thursday tests

Eric Camilli kicked off his WRC2 title campaign in style by going fastest on both Thursday evening speed tests around the Col de Turini at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Camilli, competing for the first time since his Spain victory last year, overcame brake problems on his Citroën C3 Rally2 to lead the field after two special stages. 

The Frenchman pulled a hefty 5.1sec from his nearest challenger on the opening Luceram / Lantosque blast despite suffering from brake fade in the closing kilometres before a tidy run through La Bollène-Vésubie / Moulinet helped him almost double that advantage. 

He arrived at the overnight halt in Monaco 9.1sec clear of Andreas Mikkelsen. 

"I was trying to be clean in the uphill sections, but on the downhills I pushed a bit more,” explained Camilli. “The brakes were better in the second stage,” he added.

Reigning WRC2 champion Mikkelsen was happy with how his first evening with co-driver Torstein Eriksen unfolded, but admitted there was still more to come from his Toksport-prepared Škoda Fabia Rally2.

Stéphane Lefebvre completed the podium - which consisted entirely of former top-tier works drivers - 9.7sec back in another C3 car. 

Citroën debutant Yohan Rossel trailed the leaders by 34.2sec at close of play, but was frustrated after driving too cautiously on the first stage. He had just 0.9sec in hand over Bolivian youngster Marco Bulacia, who also led the WRC2 Junior category with another Toksport Škoda. 

Erik Cais had no issues to report and was sixth on his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut. The M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 star finished the loop a hefty 51.1sec adrift of the leaders.

Nikolay Gryazin dropped almost three minutes in SS2 and was lucky to continue after flames engulfed the rear of his Fabia at the stop line. Chris Ingram also hit trouble on the opening night and limped through with his Škoda jammed in third gear. 

  • Full coverage from Rallye Monte-Carlo is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.


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