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Apr 07, 2014 - 06:25 AM
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Maiden Win for Stephane Lefebvre
Posted by: newsla on Apr 07, 2014 - 06:23 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Maiden Win for Stephane Lefebvre


Fourteen Citroën DS3 R3s took part in Rally de Portugal, the first round of the 2014 FIA Junior WRC, for which Citroën Racing is the exclusive supplier.

 

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After the ceremonial start in Estoril, the crews completed the super special stage held on tarmac roads in the centre of Lisbon. The Italian Simone Campedelli got off to the best start, finishing ahead of Martin Koci and the Czech Jan Cerny.

After a long road section south to the Algarve, the Citroën DS3 R3s finally ventured onto the gravel on Friday morning. Alastair Fisher was the quickest man of the morning loop, with two consecutive stage wins. With a lead of almost half a minute, he led from Simone Campedelli and Martin Koci.

The leader’s progress was only held up by a puncture on the final stage of the day. Martin Koci took full advantage to become the first Slovakian to win a stage in the JWRC. Alastair Fisher nevertheless returned to Faro with around a thirty-second lead over Martin Koci and Simone Campedelli. Stéphane Lefebvre and Christian Riedemann rounded off the top five.

On his 21st birthday, Martin Koci was quickest out the blocks on day two, winning SS8. Despite closing to within 21 seconds of the leader, his hopes of making further progress were quickly dashed. Hampered by problems with his brakes, he lost almost two minutes and fell back to fifth place, behind Alastair Fisher, Simone Campedelli, Stéphane Lefebvre and Christian Riedemann.

Saturday’s second loop shook up the standings. Category leader Alastair Fisher went off on SS13 and was forced to retire. Simone Campedelli was unable to start the final stage of the leg due to problems with his brakes. Stéphane Lefebvre therefore ended day two in first place in the standings, ahead of Martin Koci, Christian Riedemann, Federico Della Casa and Simone Campedelli.

Stéphane Lefebvre controlled from the front on the final three stages to win the opening round of the season. Behind him, Christian Riedemann took advantage of Martin Koci’s puncture to grab second spot from the Slovakian.

Swiss driver Federico Della Casa finished in fourth position, ahead of Simone Campedelli, Simone Tempestini, Jan Cerny, Molly Taylor, Panikos Polykarpou and Quentin Giordano. Eleventh and twelfth respectively, Sylvain Michel and Kornel Lukacs finished outside the points.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Stéphane Lefebvre: “I am as surprised as anyone by this result. This is the first time I have competed in the World Rally Championship. I was looking, above all, to test myself again the competition at this first round. I was patient. I drove in the middle of the road to try and avoid picking up any punctures. The conditions were really difficult and rough. We had to look after the car. I am here to win the championship. I can now see it is possible to win races without having competed at the rally before.”

Christian Riedemann: “It’s a very good start to the season. It isn’t always the quickest driver that wins at rallies like this one. You have to be clever and keep out of trouble. We did pretty well to come away with second position. I’m happy and the team is pleased with our performances.”

Martin Koci: “It’s very pleasing to score big points in the opening round. We lost a bit of time due to a mechanical issue and a puncture. It was a very rough gravel rally. I’m pleased to finish on the podium. It’s a very good start to the season and a great way to celebrate my 21st birthday.”

FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS

1. Stéphane Lefebvre / Thomas Dubois 4:02:51.8
2. Christian Riedemann / Lara Vanneste +1:02.7
3. Martin Koci / Lukas Kostka +3:30.6
4. Federico Della Casa / Domenico Pozzi +9:14.1
5. Simone Campedelli / Danilo Fappani +9:17.4
6. Simone Tempestini / Dorin Pulpea +10:16.9
7. Jan Cerny / Pavel Kohout +10:50.6
8. Molly Taylor / Coral Taylor +11:27.9
9. Panikos Polykarpou / Gerald Winter +14:14.7
10. Quentin Giordano / Guillaume Duval +9:24.7
11. Sylvain Michel / Gwenola Marie +18:45.7
12. Kornel Lukacs / Marc Mesterhazi +29:37.3

FASTEST TIMES

Alastair Fisher and Simone Campedelli, 5 – Martin Koci, 3 – Stéphane Lefebvre, 1 (2 stages cancelled)

LEADERS

SS1: Simone Campedelli

SS2 to SS12: Alastair Fisher

SS13 to SS16 (finish): Stéphane Lefebvre

FIA JUNIOR WRC STANDINGS (1/6)

1. Stéphane Lefebvre 25 points
2. Christian Riedemann 18 points
3. Martin Koci 15 points
4. Federico Della Casa 12 points
5. Simone Campedelli 10 points
6. Simone Tempestini 8 points
7. Jan Cerny 6 points
8. Molly Taylor 4 points
9. Panikos Polykarpou 2 points
10. Quentin Giordano 1 point

2014 CALENDAR

3-6 April Rally de Portugal

26-29 June Rally Poland

31 July – 3 August Rally Finland

21-24 August Rally Deutschland

2-5 October Rallye de France

13-16 November Wales GB Rally


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