S2000 Peugeot wins Rally of Turkey
- 14th May 2007, 10:57am
The former mountain bike champion got past the Fiat Abarth of Anton Alen on SS16, which lost time with a broken brake pipe and then a puncture. The Finn eventually ended up fourth on his debut for Abarth.
"I'm absolutely delighted to win the Rally of Turkey on my debut in the IRC," said Vouilloz. "Today it was really exciting when there was less than a second between me and Anton. I really enjoyed all the stages on this event, and I was able to push hard with confidence. It's been a great start!”
Vouilloz closed to within less than a second of Alen's lead before the service halt halfway through the day, after setting an impressive series of fastest stage times following a puncture on the opening day that cost him nearly a minute.
In second place was the Abarth of Andrea Navarra, the winner of the opening round of the IRC in Africa. The Italian lost time on Saturday morning by running first on the road, but he gradually increased his pace to end the rally in style - consolidating his IRC drivers' title lead and Abarth's lead of the manufacturers' classification.
Enrique Garcia Ojeda was third in the other Peugeot, on his very first event on gravel in a four-wheel drive car.
There was drama for Turkish driver Volkan Isik on the final afternoon, when he was slowed by an alternator problem and then took a wheel off on the final stage. With a road penalty he was classified sixth after the final stage, behind Alen and former European Champion Renato Travaglia - whose Mitsubishi was the top Group N car in fifth overall.
Taking the final point, for eighth place, was Citroen's Simon Jean-Joseph on his IRC debut.
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