Campana demonstrates talent with 4th

Campana demonstrates talent with 4thFrom General Article [ 14/05/2011 ].
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Pierre Campana has shown the rallying world just what he is capable of with a masterful performance at the wheel of his Peugeot 207 S2000 in this year’s Tour de Corse. The Corsican driver finished the prestigious three-day event in fourth place overall after a highly competitive and professional performance with his co-pilot Sabrina de Castelli.

Heading into today’s final run of six stages, a cumulative distance of some 140km, in fifth position overall, Pierre was determined to take the fight to the front-runners, and enjoyed a largely positive day until drama struck in the final stage.

Pierre started the third and final day with a sublime second place in SS9, just 3 seconds from the stage winner. Continuing his solid runs from SS10-12, Pierre was in good shape and although he lost a place to one of the more experienced men in the field, a problem for one of the other podium contenders ensured Pierre retained his well-deserved place in the top five.

The penultimate stage of the Tour, SS13, saw Pierre finish just four seconds from the stage winner and extended his position in fifth place on the overall classification to nearly three minutes. Unfortunately, he picked up a puncture in the final stage and had to change tyre in the stage which lost him over two-and-a-half minutes. Pierre and Sabrina worked with absolute precision to minimise the time loss and to complete the stage without realising that a retirement from another car had actually promoted them to a fantastic fourth place.

Pierre had highlighted Tour de Corse as one of the most important events for his future and had hoped to use a good result to unlock the next step in his young career. Being a home event, Pierre had a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but a professional and dedicated approach to the rally by him, his co-pilot and the Munaretto Team has allowed him to fulfil his potential.

The event started off in a highly satisfactory manner for Pierre, ending the opening two stages in a more than respectable seventh position. The repeated 27.53km Le Fangu-Notre Dame de la Serra stage saw Pierre make a massive 15s stage-on-stage improvement after battling tyre pressure problems in the opening stage and driving around rear suspension issues in the second. With just 16 seconds separating Pierre from second place overall, it was an encouraging start for the Corsican on home soil.

The second day, six stages in total, saw Pierre and the Munaretto team make steady strides during the day, fighting their way into the top five by the end of SS8. Highlights of the day were Pierre’s performance in SS7 that saw him and his co-pilot Sabrina de Castelli post the fourth fastest time of the stage, as well as a consistent front-running pace throughout the day, positioning themselves as a real threat to the front-runners. Fifth place overall is therefore a fully deserved and exceptional result for the Corsican, who has benefitted from the support of companies Quotidia and Perin for this event. Peugeot Sport, too, will have taken note of this outstanding performance.

Pierre said: “I am absolutely thrilled with our performance at this Tour de Corse in spite of the difficulties we encountered with the puncture in the final stage. We just kept our focus, as we have all event, and did what we had to do to complete the event in the best time possible. At the end of SS14 I didn’t realise we had actually moved into fourth place, but we are completely overjoyed. We showed our potential from the opening day but from Friday lunchtime onwards, I was really comfortable with the Peugeot 207 and the Michelin tyres, which allowed us to set competitive stage times all weekend. SS7 and today’s SS9 were particular highlights, but the Munaretto team has worked wonders here with the fabulous Peugeot car and we share this tremendous top five result as a team. I’d also like to thank my fantastic co-pilot Sabrina, as well Quotidia and Perin who have shown such great support to me this weekend, as well as VP Racing Fuel and Sparco. I hope I have done everyone proud and also demonstrated my potential to Peugeot Sport. It is such an honour to achieve this result but to do it in Corsica, in front of a home crowd of fans, family and rally supporters, has been the highlight of my career without question. I hope that I can use this to open the next chapter of my career. For now, I will just enjoy this moment with all those who have shown faith in me, including my management team at Quadra Sports. It’s been a real team effort.”