A Turkish bath for the C2
- 9th October 2006, 12:30pm
As the eighth and penultimate round of the busy 2006 JWRC calendar, the Rally of Turkey
will once again see the Juniors' two-wheel drive machinery in action as it did in 2003 and
2004. Inasmuch as its debut on the world scene only dates back to 2005, this means the C2
will be sampling the heat and humidity of southern Turkish for the very first time.
Five C2s have been entered for the event, namely four C2 Super 1600s and the fledgling C2-
R2 which made its world class debut in Finland last August. PH Sport, which counts two
previous visits to Kemer under its belt (2003 and 2004), will run the Super 1600 cars of Kris
Meeke/Glenn Patterson and Julien Pressac/Jack Boyère, as well as the C2-R2 of Fabien
Fiandino/Sabrina de Castelli. The car of Czechs Martin Prokop/Jan Tománek will be tended
by their own operation, Jipocar Racing, while Germany's Aaron Burkart/Tanja Geilhausen,
whose programme skipped Rally Finland, will once again sport the colours of PRT (Prinz
World Rally Car chassis engineers catalogue the Rally of Turkey as a 'rough gravel' round
which features relatively soft stages that enable buried rocks to become increasingly exposed
with each passing car. As in Sardinia last May, the JWRC runners can consequently expect a
particularly tough ride. "I know the Turkish stages quite well," says the Technical Manager of
Citroën Sport's Customer Competition Department Alexis Avril who was the chassis engineer
for Colin McRae's Xsara WRC in 2003 before doing the same job with Carlos Sainz the
following year. "That said, we didn't compete here last year with the C2 Super 1600 so,
following our usual pre-event test, we decided to prepare a range of set-up options."
As is sometimes the case when the going gets this rough, the outcome could well depend on
the lottery regarding punctures. But reliability also promises to play a big role and the
survivors at the finish will not necessarily be those who emerge as the front-runners early on.
The key question all the Juniors face is how to drive as quickly as possible without denting the
car's performance potential?
Citroën will clearly be pinning its main hopes on Kris Meeke. The Ulsterman has led all the
rounds he has contested so far in 2006, has claimed the highest number of stage wins and also
tops the so-called 'sprinters' standings. "The only option Kris really has is to go for victory,"
believes Citroën Sport's Customer Competition Manager Yves Matton. "He needs to win, both
for the championship and also to continue showcasing the competitiveness of the C2 Super
1600. He needs to finish, and in first place. I would also like to see Julien Pressac finally bag
the podium result that has tantalisingly eluded him so far and see Fabien Fiandino follow up
his performance in Finland by showing off the C2-R2's balance, speed and reliability all the
way to the flag."
With more and more teams and drivers showing an interest in its latest challenger, Citroën
Sport's Customer Competition Department has decided to take a second C2-R2 to Turkey for
display in the Kemer service park.
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