SJJ scores a fine 11th in Russia

SJJ scores a fine 11th in RussiaFrom Citroen Press [ 14/07/2007 ].
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Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère crowned their second competitive outing at the wheel of the Citroën C2-R2 with a fine 11th place on the inaugural Rally Russia.

 The French driver enjoyed a faultless run on his way to claiming victory in Group A and
topping the two-wheel drive classification with his PH Sport-tended C2-R2.

"A good position overall and victory in the two-wheel drive classification is an excellent
global result," beamed Simon Jean-Joseph at the end of the two-day event. "Given the
high number of all-wheel drive cars here and the high-speed nature of the stages, I think
it would have been difficult to do much better. I always believed we could cause an upset
on this event and I am very pleased with our result."

Following the cancellation of SS11, the second and final leg of the fourth round of the
2007 Intercontinental Rally Challenge featured a mere 34km of against-the-clock action
divided into three stages. Although the day was short, however, Simon Jean-Joseph
preferred to take things cautiously. "As we saw yesterday," explained the 2004 European
Champion, "the gravel stages here tend to cut up quite quickly. They are fast, but there
also are frequent portions where buried rocks become exposed and there is a constant
threat of picking up a puncture – or worse."

The Martinique-based driver started at a brisk pace but without taking any uncalled for
risks, a tactic that enabled him to hold on to his overnight lead in the two-wheel drive
standings. "It wasn't a foregone conclusion but the day went very well for us. We
succeeded in defending our position by pushing hard, yet keeping a safety margin all the
time. From start to finish, we were also able to profit from the Citroën C2-R2's first class
reliability and from the perfect job put in by PH Sport, although it took me a few
kilometres to feel totally confident in the car. After that, I was gradually able to fine-tune
the set-up and then I was able to really attack. As in Poland, I was genuinely taken
aback by the Citroën's speed, and I don't think I was the only person in that case.
"In addition to wanting to come away with the best result possible, we came here to
showcase the competitiveness of the C2-R2. Rallying is becoming increasingly popular
in Russia which is also an important market for Citroën. On paper, it wasn't an event for
us but we were able to rise to the occasion, as our stage times and final position – just
outside the top-ten, despite a strong entry of four-wheel drive Group N cars – indicate.
Despite its small size, we succeeded in showing that the Citroën C2-R2 is capable of
scoring top results. There is nothing on the market to beat it in terms of its
price/performance/reliability ratio."

Second place in the two-wheel drive category went to another Citroën C2-R2 in the
hands of Russians Irek Dautov/Alexander Shatunov who finished a highly commendable
16th overall.