208 RALLY CUP: LOÏC ASTIER / GILBERT DINI, FIRST WIN!

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Sun, 30/06/2019 - 20:15
208 RALLY CUP I ROUND #2 - RALLYE TERRE DU HAUT VAR (29-30 June 2019)
 
The Rallye Terre du Haut-Var proved to be an unforgiving event. Held in searing temperatures, the legendary ‘1000 Pistes’ event lived up to its fearsome reputation as it returned to the French Gravel Championship. Loïc Astier emerged empty-handed from the opening round of the season at the Rallye Terre des Causses but bounced back in perfect fashion on his home event to claim his first win of the 208 RALLY CUP. The local man finished ahead of Patrick Magnou, who scored his second podium of the year, and Mathieu Franceschi, who graduated from the Junior championship. A retirement for Jean-Baptiste Franceschi in the penultimate stage has now changed the complexion of the championship entirely, with the season only just underway.


  • Few of the drivers had any experience of the legendary ‘1000 Pistes’ rally, but they had all heard of it. Now, they know what it really means. The second round of the 208 RALLY CUP was run in blazing heat, as part of the FFSA French Gravel Championship. The event gave all the competitors a hard time, as well as their PEUGEOT 208R2 cars, which had to tackle tricky conditions in the Canjuers military area.     
 
  • Loïc Astier led the season-opening Rallye Terre des Causses but was forced into retirement after going off the road. Now on home territory, Astier was back on form, taking control from SS1 and only losing the lead briefly on SS7 and SS8 – before sealing his first 208 RALLY CUP win. Nonethless, the former French Junior champion had to overcome numerous setbacks: multiple punctures, damaged suspension, and a faulty intercom. The win placed him into the thick of the title race, as a serious candidate to inherit Yohan Rossel’s crown.
 
  • Patrick Magnou drove a solid rally on the opening round and repeated the same performance this weekend by avoiding most problems and clinching the runner-up spot. He took advantage of a retirement for 208 RALLY CUP points leader Jean-Baptiste Franceschi to lead the championship heading into round three. Franceschi had an unlucky run through the latest event and is now looking forward to the next round: the Rallye Terre de Langres.
 
  • The final podium place was also occupied by a local driver, who put in a great performance. Mathieu Franceschi also survived several punctures to claim his second consecutive Junior win as well as third place overall in the 208 RALLY CUPp on the event.
 
  • Léo Rossel and Anthony Fotia, who could have hoped for more had it not been for multiple punctures, completed the top five of round two and limited the damage by scoring some precious points.
 
  • PEUGEOT 208R2 cars filled the top three places in the French Championship two-wheel drive category on the 2019 Rallye Terre du Haut Var.

QUOTES
 
Loïc Astier - 208 Rally Cup winner, Rallye Terre du Haut-Var
“Winning a rally like this one, after all the setbacks we had, was just incredible. Maybe it’s hard to tell from the outside, but I feel very emotional. We finished just with three wheels; all the rest had punctures! It was one of the most difficult and demanding rallies of my career. But when it finishes as well as this, you forget everything. The championship is on again!”
 
Mathieu Franceschi – third in 208 Rally Cup, Rallye Terre du Haut Var, first Junior
“The end result is a good one. We took our first podium in the 208 Rally Cup and our second Junior win, so we should be happy. Still, I’m disappointed to take this third place from my brother, who deserved it more than I did. Now we’re fourth in the championship and that’s a real motivation for the future.”
 
Jean-Marc Vinatier – 208 Rally Cup Sporting Manager
“It was a rally of extreme conditions. The weather conditions were extreme enough, but the actual rally itself was particularly demanding, for both men and machines. At the moment, it's the most difficult gravel rally in France. We’re right up there with the World Rally Championship in terms of a challenge! From a sporting perspective the championship is wide open, and Loïc Astier along with his co-driver Gilbert Dini are well-deserved winners of the latest round. Congratulations to them along with all the other competitors. It was the sort of adventure that only rallying can provide. Now we look forward to the Rallye Terre de Langres in three weeks!”

FINAL RESULTS 208 RALLY CUP -  ROUND #2/7 RALLYE TERRE DU HAUT VAR

1. LOÏC ASTIER / GILBERT DINI 1h16m18.1S
2. PATRICK MAGNOU / ANTHONY VILANOVA +11.7S
3. MATHIEU FRANCESCHI / BENOIT MANZO +3m19.8S
4. LEO ROSSEL / MATHIEU MAURIN +7m37.8s
5. ANTHONY FOTIA / DIDIER SIRUGUE +10m40.0s
6. THIERRY VENTURINI / BENEDICTE DREYER +12m26.4s
7. THIBAUT POIZOT / GABRIEL DURAND +17m00.8s
8. ROMUALD LEZEAU / VINCENT REAULT +25m08.1s


CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS 208 RALLY CUP - AFTER ROUND #2/7 RALLYE TERRE DU HAUT VAR

 
1. PATRICK MAGNOU / MATTHIEU BELHACENE 27 pts
2. LOÏC ASTIER / GILBERT DINI 26 pts
3. JEAN-BAPTISTE FRANCESCHI / ANTHONY GORGUILO 20 pts
4. MATHIEU FRANCESCHI / BENOIT MANZO (Junior) 18 pts
5. FRANCOIS-XAVIER BLANC / GILLES DE TURCKHEIM 15 pts
6. ANTHONY FOTIA / DIDIER SIRUGUE 14 pts
7. LEO ROSSEL / MATHIEU MAURIN (Junior) 11 pts
8. THIERRY VENTURINI / BENEDICTE DREYER 10 pts
9. ROMUALD LEZEAU / VINCENT REAULT 4 pts
EX. JONATHAN VARGAS / GEOFFREY BRION 4 pts
11. THIBAUT POIZOT / MARION GRAND 3 pts
12. SEBASTIEN LANQUENTIN / MARY JOLY 2 pts
13. DORIAN DELAGNE / THIERRY SALVA 1 pt

208 RALLY CUP CALENDAR 2019

 
05 - 07 April I Terre des Causses - Aveyron (gravel)
28 - 30 June I Terre du Haut Var - Var (gravel)
19 - 21 July I Terre de Langres - Haute-Marne (gravel)
30 August - 01 September I Terre de Lozère - Lozère (gravel)
27 - 29 September I Rallye Coeur de France - Indre-et-Loire / Loir-et-Cher (asphalt)
25 - 26 October I Criterium de Cévennes - Hérault / Gard (asphalt)
22 - 24 November I Rallye du Var - Var (asphalt)

MEDIA CONTENT

Copyright-free photos for editorial use: http://bit.ly/2KPivHc
©PEUGEOT Sport / @MAP - Aurélien Vialatte

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 CUPp Communications Manager
elisa@edccom.fr / +33 6 26 47 28 62
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