208 RALLY CUP : JEAN-BAPTISTE FRANCESCHI GETS BACK TO HIS WINNING WAYS

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Sun, 07/04/2019 - 21:15
208 RALLY CUP I ROUND #1 - RALLYE TERRE DES CAUSSES (6 - 7 APRIL 2019)
The seventh 208 Rally Cup got underway last weekend at the Rallye Terre des Causses, the opening round of the French Gravel Rally Championship. Despite tricky conditions throughout the event in southern France, the 17 Peugeot 208R2 cars and their crews put in a great performance that promises a thrilling season ahead. One of the pre-season favourites, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, lived up to expectations perfectly and claimed his first win in the 208 Rally Cup after a two-year absence. His younger brother Mathieu won the Junior category, concluding a faultless weekend for the Franceschi family.


  • Taking place under driving rain, the opening day of the 2019 208 Rally Cup was to give a heavy hint of all the surprises in store. Loïc Astier – French two-wheel drive gravel champion in 2017 – made the first move by setting fastest time on SS1. The Frenchman, looking extremely comfortable at the wheel of his Peugeot 208R2, continued to impress by leading the rally before getting caught out on the final stage of the day. His consolation prize was the best performer award.
 
  • Having taken over the lead from Loïc Astier at the beginning of the rally, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi built up his advantage without making a single mistake and got his season off to a perfect start in Peugeot’s one-make series. It was a victory that was won thanks to experience, which confirmed his ambitions and his place among the favourites to succeed Yohan Rossel, the 208 Rally Cup champion in 2018.
 
  • The fight for the podium was intense and closely-fought right down to the final metres between François-Xavier Blanc and Patrick Magnou. Despite a few small mistakes from both along the way, it was François-Xavier Blanc who took the definitive advantage on the final stage. Behind them, Karl-Alexandre Pinheiro, who was growing in confidence, and Anthony Fotia,  seeking to add to his gravel experience, completed the first top five of the season.   
 
  • After driving an excellent second leg of the rally on his debut in the 208 Rally Cup, Mathieu Franceschi won the Junior category (finishing sixth overall) ahead of Léo Rossel (eighth overall) and Sébastien Lanquetin (ninth overall).
 
  • Now a factory Citroën Racing driver following his 208 Rally Cup title in 2018, Yohan Rossel took part in his first-ever gravel event in the Citroën C3R5 and put in a very good performance by winning the R5 category (and finishing second in the overall rally classification).

THEY SAID…

 
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi – 1st overall
“We had a small scare on the final stage with a mechanical concern. That was the only thing that went wrong all weekend. We drove well without taking too many risks, thinking above all about the championship. We let our rivals make their mistakes, and just got on with our own rally. This win is obviously the dream start to the season.”
 
François-Xavier Blanc -  2nd overall
“Even if we made a few mistakes, I’m very happy with our rally and especially the last stage, when we pushed hard. That paid off, and second place is a great reward for Team Sarrazin Motorsport, which has ended up with a one-two. I’m delighted to share the podium with Jean-Baptiste, who is a fantastic person.”
 
Mathieu Franceschi – 1st Junior
“It’s a big satisfaction for me to win the Junior classification in our first participation at a 208 Rally Cup round. It’s a fantastic experience and we were able to get to know a car that’s great fun to drive. On the final day we were able to up our pace a bit to set some interesting times. It’s a good sign for the future.”
 
Jean-Marc Vinatier - 208 Rally Cup sporting manager
“It’s clearly a positive conclusion from this opening round, with 17 cars taking the start. After two exciting days of competition, a few names came to forefront to fight for the top places, and this show that we’re in for a thrilling season. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, who was one of the pre-season favourites, certainly lived up to expectations. He’ll be the man to watch over the next few rounds. The Rallye Terre des Causses was also the place where we could show off our new ‘208 Rally Cup Village’ in the heart of the service park. Our choice and our desire to accommodate all Cup contestants under one roof, so that we can share the experience and highlights of rallying all together, has worked out well for everyone. We’re looking forward to enjoying even more of these moments with more people in future, with so many fans and spectators. See you at the Rallye Terre du Haut Var in June !”

208 RALLY CUP OVERALL CLASSIFICATION : RALLYE TERRE DES CAUSSES, ROUND #1/7

 
1. JEAN-BAPTISTE FRANCESCHI / ANTHONY GORGUILO 1h40m29.2s
2. FRANCOIS-XAVIER BLANC / GILLES DE TURCKHEIM +24.8s
3. PATRICK MAGNOU / MATTHIEU BELHACENE +43.8s
4. KARL ALEXANDRE PINHEIRO / FRANCK LE FLOCH +1m03.5s
5. ANTHONY FOTIA / DIDIER SIRUGUE +1m16.1s
6. MATHIEU FRANCESCHI / BENOIT MANZO (Junior) +1m20.9s
7. JONATHAN VARGAS / GEOFFREY BRION +3m20.6s
8. LEO ROSSEL / MATHIEU MAURIN (Junior) +3m43.8s
=. LOÏC ASTIER / GILBERT DINI (best performer)
9. SEBASTIEN LANQUENTIN / MARY JOLY +4m32.3s
10. DORIAN DELAGNE / THIERRY SALVA +5m38.0s
11. JOHANN ROUSSELIN / ANDY MALFOY (Junior) +5m54.6s
12. THIBAUT POIZOT / MARION GRAND +7m07.6s
13. THIERRY VENTURINI / BENEDICTE DREYER +7m09.2s
14. SEBASTIEN BAUD / FABIEN CRAEN (Junior) +11m13.2s
15. ROMUALD LEZEAU / VINCENT REAULT +15m30.4s
16. KEVIN PORTAL / PATRICK CHIAPPE +3h22m48.2s

208 RALLY CUP CALENDAR 2019

05 - 07 Apr  Terre des Causses - Aveyron (gravel)
28 - 30 Jun  Terre du haut Var - Var (gravel)
19 - 21 Jul Terre de Langres - Haute-Marne (gravel)
30 Aug - 01 Sep Terre de Lozère - Lozère (gravel)
27 - 29 Sep Rallye Coeur de France - Indre-et-Loire / Loir-et-Cher (asphalt)
25 - 26 Oct Criterium de Cévennes - Hérault / Gard (asphalt)
22 - 24 Nov Rallye du Var - Var (asphalt)

MEDIA CONTENT

Copyright-free photos for media use:
http://media.peugeot-sport.com/
http://bit.ly/2qFNslu
©PEUGEOT Sport / @MAP - Pierre Simenel

CONTACTS

 
Jean-Marc VINATIER 208 Rally Cup sporting manager
jeanmarc.vinatier@mpsa.com / +33 6 73 48 43 39
 
Étienne DEVIERRE  PEUGEOT Sport communications and marketing manager
etienne.devierre@ext.mpsa.com / +33 6 64 82 27 38
 
Élisa De Crignis 208 Rally Cup communications and hospitality manager
elisa@edccom.fr / +33 6 26 47 28 62
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