208 RALLY CUP: LOÏC ASTIER / GILBERT DINI, FIRST WIN!
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.
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
208 RALLY CUP CALENDAR 2019
Peugeot 208 R2 technical file : http://www.peugeotsport-store.com/
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