THE 208 RALLY CUP KICKS OFF AT MONT-BLANC WITH THE NEW 208 RALLY 4!
In action on stages across Europe since July and having produced several first class performances, the 208 Rally 4 is the new flagship model of the 208 Rally Cup, which is set to kick off next weekend at Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine (3-5 September).
- A spectacular debut. No other words could describe the maiden competitive outing of the 208 Rally 4 at Rali de Castelo Branco (Portugal) in early July, where Pedro Antunes drove it to a superb win in the two-wheel drive category and finished ninth overall in its first official event. Since then, the car has enjoyed a series of good results in the Czech Republic, Spain, France, Italy and Latvia, confirming Peugeot Sport’s decision to combine performance, reliability, accessibility and controlled costs was the right – and winning – move! Recently, Paolo Andreucci even had the cheek to claim fourteenth overall in the car, whilst winning the two-wheel drive class, at the Italian championship event Rally del Ciocco.
- At Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine (3-5 September) the 208 Rally 4 will succeed the 208 R2 in the French 208 Rally Cup. It features the same ingredients that have made the Peugeot Cup one of the leading promotional formulas in rallying for the last twenty years or more. Although this year’s calendar – given the current circumstances – has had to be condensed into four races, with all events counting towards the standings, its other strengths remain unchanged: professional organisation, very high standards, sporting fairness, driving pleasure and substantial prize money (€25,800 awarded at each round). The end of season prizes are also very appealing. The overall winner, if he/she is under 28 years old, will earn a works programme to compete in the 2021 French Rally championship in a C3 R5. The highest-placed under 23 year-old will be rewarded with a full season in next year’s 208 Rally Cup with the Lycée St Vallier team, whilst whoever is top of the Gentlemen Driver standings (28 years old and above) after Rallye des Cévennes will be able to take part in Rallye du Var in a 208 Rally 4 free of charge.
- These enticing prizes have convinced no fewer than nineteen crews to sign up for the 2020 edition of the 208 Rally Cup at the opening event, Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine. One of them, Mathieu Franceschi – winner of the Junior title in 2019 – seems very determined to follow in the footsteps of Jean-Baptiste, his elder brother and last year’s champion. However, many drivers will be looking to overcome the odds, such as Batti Ceccaldi, Johann Rousselin, Hugo Louvel and Romual Lézeau, who have all already competed in the Cup, or from the large Belgian contingent led by the experienced Cédric Cherain and Gino Bux, a former winner of the RACB's young rally driver contest. Given the competition’s rich history of identifying talented young drivers, this year’s 208 Rally Cup is also certain to throw up a few surprises. We will get an early sense of how the Cup will pan out this year on the thirteen stages (over a competitive distance of 184km) scheduled at Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine, the sublime roads and scenery of which make it one of the genuine highlights of the season.
- Another cup involving the 208 Rally 4s, the Peugeot Rally Cup Iberica, is however due to be held beforehand. Rali Do Alto Tamega features no fewer than sixteen competitors this weekend in Portugal at the opening round of the Iberica Cup.
WHAT THEY SAID…
Jean-Marc Vinatier, 208 Rally Cup Sporting Manager
“In the current circumstances, we are very excited to be back racing. In association with the rally organisers and the FFSA, the Peugeot Sport team has done a lot of work to ensure the organisation of the new generation 208 Rally Cup. The 208 Rally4, the latest model to be produced by the Peugeot Sport workshops has enjoyed huge success with international rally drivers and teams. A remarkable amount of hard work, on a day-to-basis, has gone into ensuring parts have been built, delivered and supplied. So here we are, about to start the new 208 Rally Cup with a line-up of 19 cars driven by a high-quality crews from throughout Europe. There will be French drivers, of course, but also competitors from Norway, Switzerland and Belgium. The championship will consist of four rallies and, in terms of the regulations, all events will count towards the standings, so you really cannot afford to make any mistakes! Despite this curtailed calendar, we insisted upon maintaining the prize money. We are delighted to start the new championship with one of the season’s finest rallies, the Mont Blanc. In three months’ time, we will find out who will succeed last year’s champion, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, who is competing in the French championship in the C3 R5, the prize for the winner of the cup!”
Mathieu Franceschi, 208 Rally Cup Driver
“After winning the Junior title last year, which has given me the opportunity to enter the cup this season with PH Sport, one of the best French teams, my sole aim is to win the overall title. The championship is going to be different this year, however, with only four races, so consistency is going to be even more important than ever. I have done everything I can to improve my chances, focusing on the slightest details. I'm feeling relaxed about returning to racing, although I'm certainly not about to underestimate my rivals. Rallye Mont-Blanc is one of the greatest events of the year, perhaps even my favourite, so I can't wait to drive the new 208 Rally 4 there. Other than a few test sessions, I also had the chance to drive the car at Rally di Alba in Italy and felt very comfortable in it.”
208 Rally Cup 2020 calendar:
3-5 September: Mont-Blanc (tarmac)
9-11 October: Cardabelles (gravel)
30 October-1 November: Critérium des Cévennes (tarmac)
27-29 November: Var (tarmac)
List of 208 Rally Cup entries for Rallye du Mont-Blanc:
Franceschi Mathieu – Baud Lucie
Cherain Cédric – Portier Xavier
Furuseth Sindre – Hjerpe Jim
Taveneau Sam – Augustin Damien
Ceccaldi Batti – TBC
Rousselin Johann – Lacruz Marine
Louvel Hugo – Vida Alexandre
Lanquetin Sébastien – Courtet Jofrey
Devanthery Aurélien – Delasoie Gaël
Bux Gino – Spittaels Steven
Leduc Vincent – Pelamourgues Laurence
Roussel Frédéric – Letellier Maxime
Lézeau Romuald – Reault Vincent
Bonfils Mathis – Sola Mallaury
Munster Charles – Podgorny Antoine
Stievenart Nyls – Salva Thierry
Lecureux Arthur – Giraldo Méryl
Fumal Armand – Louette Michaël
Bangui Nazim – Auge Valentin
Copyright-free photographs at:
- Peugeot Sport, Rencontres Peugeot Sport, 308 Racing Cup Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/peugeot.sport; www.facebook.com/RencontresPeugeotSport ; www.facebook.com/308RacingCUP
- Peugeot Sport Twitter feed: @peugeotsport
- Peugeot Sport Instagram: @peugeotsportofficial
- Peugeot Sport YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/peugeotsportofficial
Didier Clement: Head of Peugeot Sport Customer Racing
+33 6 87 71 71 85 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean-Marc Vinatier: 208 Rally Cup Sporting Manager
+33 6 73 48 43 39 – email@example.com
Elisa de Crignis: Communications & Marketing Manager
+33 6 26 47 28 62 / Elisa.firstname.lastname@example.org
Vehicle commercial department (Peugeot Citroën Racing Shop)
+33 1 30 11 27 00 - email@example.com