Mon 02 May 2022

Rossel dedicates Croatia win to PH Sport team

Yohan Rossel has dedicated his emotional WRC2 victory at last month’s Croatia Rally to his PH Sport team.

Rossel delivered a flawless drive aboard his Citroën C3 Rally2 to take victory by more than one-minute at the Zagreb-based fixture. The result marked his first-ever triumph in the premier support category since winning WRC3 last season. 

Speaking after the event, the Frenchman dedicated the win to his PH Sport team, who tragically lost mechanic Quentin Lavalée during a Dakar Rally incident in January. 

“After Monte, I worked very hard with the team and this win is for them,” said an emotional Rossel. “Of course, it was not easy for them after the Dakar. 

“I know the team very well because I worked with them during my time in the French junior championship in 2019, and I think this one is important for them.”

Rossel led from start to finish and gradually built his lead as several rivals hit trouble in foggy, damp and muddy conditions. 

He also applauded new co-driver Valentin Sarreaud for a faultless job on the pace notes. 

The 27-year-old was left without a long-term partner when Alex Coria jumped ship to join top-tier pilot Adrien Fourmaux late last year. Now, it looks like Sarreaud will take the reins. 

“I think it’s just crazy for [Valentin], because he stopped his career for two years and he is my friend,” he explained. 

“He lives just next to my home and when Alex [Coria] went with Fourmaux, he said to me: ‘why not?’. We decided to give it a go, and to say we won here is just absolutely perfect.

“When you see the conditions of the weekend it was very strong for us,” Rossel continued. “It was not easy in the car, and sometimes you are thinking it’s impossible to push. 

“Our plan was just to do no mistakes and take points for the championship. The confidence in the car and the team were working very well, so this is just perfect,” he added.

Rossel now holds second in the WRC2 standings, 15 points adrift of leader Andreas Mikkelsen. Both drivers will go head-to-head at Vodafone Rally de Portugal later this month (19 - 22 May).

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