208 RALLY CUP: HISTORIC DOUBLE ACHIEVEMENT FOR THE FRANCESCHI BROTHERS, WINNERS OF THE 2019 SEASON!
For this second asphalt rally of the season, the competitors in the 208 RALLY CUP had to face roads very different from what they had met so far. With winding, narrow roads, the Critérium des Cévennes and the French FFSA Rally Asphalt Championship offered an exceptional setting for this sixth event of the season. In front of a great crowd and challenging stages, the competitors had to master tyre management as well as the brakes across some 200 kilometres of stages.
Patrick Magnou, the most consistent driver since the beginning of the season, confirmed his very high level of performance on the Critérium des Cévennes, where he was quick from start to finish to win. Confident at the wheel of his Peugeot 208R2, he set six fastest times in 10 stages, avoiding all the pitfalls.
In second place: Jean-Baptiste Franceschi. Arriving as leader of the championship but lacking confidence on the first day, he was almost 45 seconds behind Patrick Magnou at the end of stage 1. After Loïc Astier dropped off the road in SS1 - Jean-Baptiste's closest opponent in the race title - he had to manage stage 2 with the goal of just finishing second to win the 2019 208 RALLY CUP championship title. A winning decision for the young Var driver who gets - like Yohan Rossel – a full season in the French Rally Championship at the wheel of a C3R5 in 2020.
Anthony Fotia completed the podium at the Critérium des Cévennes with a very good third place. After a succession of rallies with some lack of success in his first season in the 208 series, Anthony set a fastest time and took his second podium of the season.
Another Franceschi secured his 2020 season. Mathieu - the youngest of the family - took the Junior title also thanks to his rival Léo Rossel, who had to give up due to a mechanical problem. No risk-taking for Mathieu then, who managed his race to score the three points that separated him from the Junior Championship title. He was offered another season in the 208 RALLY CUP in 2020, at the wheel of the future replacement of the current Peugeot 208R2.
Back in the ranks of the 208 RALLY CUP, Xavier Quinsac finished fourth. A very good performance after several years away from an R2. Hugo Louvel, on his first participation, finished fifth on a particularly technical rally, driving an unfamiliar car. Batti Ceccaldi, a young Corsican driver, started strongly and finished stage 1 in third place. His lack of experience did not allow him to keep the same pace to the end of the rally, and he finished sixth.
Pauline Dalmasso, the only female representative, finished ninth, also setting the pace on the French Ladies’ Championship, while Lucille Cypriano was forced to retire.
Yohan Rossel and Benoît Fulcrand, the winners of the 2018 208 RALLY CUP, were offered a full season in the French Rally Championship in the C3R5. After a season contested over all four corners of France, they won the 2019 French title on the 61st Critérium des Cévennes, ahead of reigning champion Yoann Bonato, also in a C3R5. As a barometer of talent, the 2018 208 RALLY CUP remains unrivalled.
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi - 2019 Champion 208 RALLY CUP
“After a complicated start to the season, we can only be satisfied to come back with the title of champion in the 208 Rally Cup! I wish to thank Anthony and Team Sarrazin for all their work throughout the season, but also our partners who allowed us to drive in the best conditions and to fight for the title. It was a dream to race a full season behind the wheel of the Citroën C3R5, and now we’ve done it! We will do our utmost to follow in the footsteps of Yohan who has also just been crowned champion of France tonight. I am also very happy for my brother Mathieu, who not only won the Junior title but also gets a full season at the wheel of the new 208R2 next year!”
Mathieu Franceschi - Champion JUNIOR 208 RALLY CUP 2019
"We are very happy to win the Junior title! This ensures a programme next year at the wheel of the new 208R2. After Leo's retirement I knew I just had to get to the end to grab the title. So we took no risks and we are champions at the end of the Critérium des Cevennes. Along with my brother winning the title too, it's amazing! Big thanks to Benoît, my co-driver, who has taught me a lot since the beginning of our collaboration, to Team PH Sport who ensured I had the perfect car throughout the season and to all our sponsors without whom nothing would be possible! "
Patrick Magnou - Critérium des Cévennes WINNER and second overall 208 RALLY CUP
“We are delighted with this first place on tricky roads. I was confident at the wheel of my Peugeot 208R2, the setup suited me perfectly. After four podiums, we confirmed that we were in the game and that we had the level of performance to impose ourselves against a level of competition that was high throughout the season. I would like to congratulate Jean-Baptiste and Anthony, as well as Mathieu and Benoît for their respective titles. I am delighted that two young Var drivers showed so much determination! See you at the Var for the last round of the season, on our homeland, for a rally with no pressure.”
Loic Astier – 3rd overall 208 RALLY CUP
"The Critérium des Cévennes quickly ended for us and at the same time our hopes of the title. I made a small mistake shortly after the start of SS1, the car went onto its side and without spectators nearby we had no help to get out. We are very disappointed, as we wanted to perform here for all the CHL team and our families, who follow us and have supported us since the beginning of the season. We will be at the start of the Var Rally for the last round to have fun and try to do well on our home rally . The fight was beautiful throughout the season and the level very high. I want to congratulate Jean-Baptiste for his title after a thrilling season and Patrick for this first victory. "
Jean Marc Vinatier - 208 RALLY CUP MANAGER
"The Critérium des Cévennes has been true to its reputation as a technical and selective rally on mythical asphalt roads in the south of France. The premature retirement of Loïc Astier changed the face of the rally and the championship. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi had only to finish second to secure the title, which he brilliantly executed. In the Junior category, the retirement of Léo Rossel saw Mathieu Franceschi crowned. The 208 RALLY CUP championship was played out in a race right to the end, with two brothers winning in two categories. A first for the 208 RALLY CUP but it's just a coincidence, given the superlative performance of these two talented and promising drivers. Their respective titles open the doors to a 2020 season with specific programmes that should confirm the excellence of their results this season. Congratulations to them! I would also like to congratulate all the competitors who got to the end of this Critérium des Cévennes, as well as Yohan Rossel and Benoît Fulcrand for their French title at the wheel of the C3R5! They showed by their result that the 208 RALLY CUP stands out as a real channel of promotion, accelerating the evolution of talented drivers to the peaks of the discipline in French rallying. Yohan’s title also demonstrates the relevance of the 208 RALLY CUP when it comes to identifying future talent. See you in the Var, in a month, for a rally without pressure, which will mark the end of an exciting season! "
OVERALL RANKING AFTER ROUND #6/7 - Critérium des Cévennes
208 RALLY CUP CALENDAR 2019
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