Peugeot 208 Rally Cup - Rallye des Vosges review

Peugeot 208 Rally Cup - Rallye des Vosges review

12.06.2018: 208 Rally Cup | Rallye Vosges Grand Est (asphalt) - Round 3 of 7 Peugeot 208 Rally Cup: A third straight win puts Yohan Rossel and Benoit Fulcrand even further clear on top

208 Rally Cup | Rallye Vosges Grand Est (asphalt) - Round 3 of 7


Peugeot 208 Rally Cup: A third straight win puts Yohan Rossel and Benoit Fulcrand even further clear on top



 
Round 3 of the 2018 208 Rally Cup took teams to the Rallye Vosges Grand Est which was a first for the majority of the 15 crews that made the trip to eastern France on June 8-10.



The two-day event was ideally suited to the characteristics of the PEUGEOT 208 R2, even though the conditions proved extremely tricky at times due to the poor weather and the occasional thunderstorm which made the stages treacherously slippery.


The championship’s provisional leaders Yohan Rossel / Benoit Fulcrand (Sarrazin Motorsport) survived the ordeal unscathed to collect a third straight victory which has extended their lead at the top of the provisional order.



The French pair finished 47.9 seconds clear of Spaniards Efren Llarena / Sara Fernandez (Llarena Racing) and Juniors Léo Rossel / Alexandre Coria (Sébastien Loeb Racing).




•    Leg 1 – 308.19km, including 97.36km divided into 7 special stages



The 208 Rally Cup crews found themselves with a delicate challenge on their hands from the outset when SS1 (Boslimpré) proved extremely slippery, leading to a number of punctures and errors. The first best time of the weekend was the work of Karl Pinheiro. SS2 (Pays d’Ormont) proved more straightforward, even though the long test had been soiled by the torrential rain which led the drivers to tread warily.



Fastest on this occasion was Yohan Rossel. SS3 (Moyenmoutier) was more complex due essentially to a particularly difficult sequence of corners which caught out several crews including Junior leaders Hugo Margaillan / Sébastien Poujol (CHL Sport Auto), while Enzo Baraccani / Cindy Priolo rolled.




Once again, the timesheet was topped by Karl-Alexandre Pinheiro / Franck Le Floch (CPS Quality-Saint Eloc Racing). The midday service halt was perturbed by another storm which also affected the afternoon’s conditions. The greasier going clearly didn’t faze Karl-Alexandre Pinheiro, however, since he repeated his morning’s performance by winning Boslimpré 2 (SS4).



Unfortunately, his elation was short-lived since he crashed out on the following test (SS5, Pays d’Ormont). Yohan Rossel subsequently took control with fastest times on SS5 and SS6 (Moyenmoutier), chased by Spaniards Efren Llarena / Sara Fernandez (Llarena Racing) who closed the gap ahead of the 1.9-kilometre Gérardmer – La Mauselaine super-special (SS7) which was won by Hugo Margaillan who bounced back to conclude the rally’s first day on a high note.
 




•    Leg 2 / 236.54km, including 85.95km divided into 5 stages



The second day took place in sunny weather, although the stages weren’t entirely dry and remained slippery in places following the torrential rain that had fallen during the previous leg. Forewarned by the events of Day 1, the crews were consequently cautious when action resumed with the leg’s longest stage (SS8, Le Fossard, 22,5km). Hugo Margaillan continued on his momentum and was fastest.



The following test (SS9, Corcieux) was won by Finns Aki Sahila / Ramu Suorsa (CPS Quality-Saint Eloc Racing) who had been delayed by a puncture and an ‘off’ on Day 1. The second visit to the Gérardmer – La Mauselaine super-special (SS10) saw Yohan Rossel post his fourth stage win of the weekend, but Hugo Margaillan responded with fastest times on SS11 (Le Fossard) and SS12 (Corcieux).



The 12-stage Rallye Vosges Grand Est saw Yohan Rossel / Benoit Fulcrand collect their third win from three this season, the first time any crew has achieved that feat in the history of the 208 Rally Cup. Efren Llarena / Sara Fernandez were rewarded for their fine performance on their first appearance in the popular Peugeot single-make series with second place.




As in Antibes, Léo Rossel / Alexandre Coria joined in the overall podium festivities in addition to winning the weekend’s Junior battle.
 



•    The Juniors’ eyes on Europe


The first three clashes of the year have produced a thrilling battle in the Junior U23 class between Léo Rossel and Hugo Margaillan who are split by just nine points in the provisional classification with the season’s midpoint fast approaching.



It is worth recalling that the best-placed Junior 208 Rally Cup crew after the next round (Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie) will be invited to attend the ERC Junior Experience course which is organised in association with Eurosport Events. The crew will travel to the Czech Republic and Latvia to familiarise themselves with the European Rally Championship thanks to a 360-degree training programme.



Following in the footsteps of the 2017 208 Rally Cup winner and 2018 Peugeot Rally Academy driver Laurent Pellier, the best-placed U23 crew will be given tuition in the taking of pace notes, working with the media and perfecting their recce skills thanks to a series of workshops presented by experts in these domains.



 This instruction at European level is aimed at grooming the season’s potential U23 winners for their end-of-year prize which is a six-round ERC3 programme in 2019 with Motorsport PSA in a PEUGEOT 208 R2.

 

 

 Audrey Zachayus - photos Peugeot @World

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/peugeot-208-rally-cup-rallye-des-vosges-review---177240.html

12.06.2018 / MaP

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