Jean-Joseph/C2-R2 MAX head for Kielder

PIRELLI INTERNATIONAL RALLY (18-19 April 2008)

The Citroën C2-R2 MAX has already got off to a winning debut on the all-asphalt Eger Rally in Hungary. Now, Simon Jean-Joseph, Jack Boyère and the rest of the PH Sport team will have to contend with the gravel stages of the Pirelli, the second event of the Citroën crew’s European programme this year.

The Pirelli Rally is one of the legendary events in the British Rally Championship, traditionally opening the series. The event takes place over two days in the north of England around the picturesque ‘Lake District National Park’, getting underway on Friday night. A total of 14 forest stages make up the itinerary (formed of seven stages, which are each run twice) and the combined competitive distance is 168.98 kilometres. Former winners of the event include stars such as Ari Vatanen as well as Alister and Jimmy McRae, not to mention the late Colin McRae and Richard Burns.

Although it will be difficult for them to join this prestigious list of winners, Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyere are still approaching the event with a lot of enthusiasm. “I am very happy that the Citroën C2-R2 MAX’s gravel debut will come in England – in the epic Kielder forest that has been such a monument to motorsport in general and the RAC Rally in particular,” said Simon Jean-Joseph. Jack Boyère added: “I've already competed on some of these stages, on the 1995 and 1996 Rally Great Britain. One memory stands out from that last participation: there was a lot of snow, we were driving without studs, and our rally came to an end in Pundershaw – which was more than 50 kilometres long at the time – roof side down...”

Simon concluded: “For me it will be a question of discovering the rally and the terrain. I know that the local drivers, who are specialists in the region, will be very quick. From what Jack has said, I gather that the stages will be very quick, narrow and bumpy – with several blind corners. To make matters even more difficult, there are deep ditches on either side of the road just waiting to welcome you. There can be a lot of fog in the area and it rains regularly: all in all, it’s easy to see just what a challenge this event is! After our excellent performance in Hungary, our objective in Britain will be to claim victory once more in the two-wheel drive class.”

Alexis Avril, in charge of Citroën Sport’s customer competition department said: “Throughout the 2007 C2 Junior Experience we were able to see the capabilities of the Citroën C2-R2 on gravel. With the improvements made to the C2-R2 MAX, particularly in terms of engine power and suspension, the car should be even more competitive and able to challenge entrants in superior categories.”

Jean-François Liénéré, who looks after Citroën Sport’s customer competition programme commented: “British journalists and drivers will be able to get a precise idea of the potential and competitiveness of our car through this promotional exercise to demonstrate the car that we organising together with Citroën UK and Charles Hurst, our distributor of competition parts for Britain and Ireland.”

“Our goal is for Simon and Jack to repeat their victory in Hungary,” concluded Jean-François Liénéré. “The reliability of the Citroën C2-R2 MAX, its excellent balance, high levels of traction and ease of use – even in the most difficult conditions – will all help Simon Jean-Joseph, Jack Boyère and the entire PH Sport team achieve this objective.”

For the second year running, the Pirelli Rally marks the opening round of the C2-R2 Cup, organised by the British Rally Championship and Citroën Sport’s competition parts distributor, Charles Hurst.

THE 2008 PIRELLI INTERNATIONAL RALLY FROM A TO Z

Pirelli Rally (18-19 April). The Pirelli Rally is the first of six rounds in the 'British Rally Championship'. It is the 16th time that the event has been run in its current guise.

Surface: gravel. Where: The city of Carlisle is in the northwest of England, in the county of Cumbria. Carlisle is 493 kilometres from London but just 75 kilometres from the Scottish border. Practical information: the local currency is the Pound Sterling: 1 pound = 1.3 euro. The time difference to the rest of Europe is one hour. When it is 0800 in France, it is 0700 in England. Distances are measured in miles: 1 mile = 1.6 kilometres. Tyres: The number of tyres that can be used is limited. Competitors may carry two spare wheels. The use of anti-deflation mousse is prohibited. Shakedown: The shakedown – which is not obligatory – takes place on Thursday 17 April on a road in Kielder Forest. Reconnaissance: This is scheduled on Friday 18 April from 0930 to 1630. The crews will undertake two passes in a convoy, at a maximum speed of 48 kph. Start ceremony: The start will take place on Friday evening in the centre of Carlisle from 1915. Route: The route totals 329.53 km, of which 168.98 km are competitive. There are 14 special stages in total (and seven different individual stages). Timing: Day 1: Friday 18 April: 59.11 km comprising 45.08 competitive km (4 stages, 4 different stages). Start from Carlisle at 1915 – Service A (1935/10 min) – Regrouping (1945/10 min) – SS1: 'Chamot Hill 1' (8.32 km) – SS2: 'Arthurs Seat 1' (8.22 km) – SS3: 'The Valley 1' (13.65 km) – SS4: 'Glen Dhu 1' (14.89 km) – Service B (2205/45 min) – Parc fermé in at 2250.

Day 2: Saturday 19 April: 270.42 km comprising 123.90 competitive km (10 stages, 7 different stages). Parc fermé out 0935 – Service C (0935/10 min) – SS5: 'The Shanks 1' (11.97 km) – SS6: 'Archies Rigg 1' (13.13 km) – SS7: 'Pundershaw 1' (14.31 km) – Service D (1246/20 min) – SS8: 'Chamot Hill 2' – SS9: 'Arthurs Seat 2' – SS10 : 'The Valley 2' – SS11: 'Glen Dhu 2' – Service E (1516/20 min) – SS12: 'The Shanks 2' – SS13: 'Archies Rigg 2' – SS14: 'Pundershaw 2' – Service F (1833/10 min) – Regrouping (1858/10 min) – Final podium from 1911 – Parc fermé in at 1926.

A promotional operation to present the new C2-R2 MAX has been organised together with Citroën UK and our distributor for competition parts in Britain and Ireland, Charles Hurst. A C2-R2 MAX will be on display in the service park throughout Saturday. The car will then be tested by journalists and drivers on a stage within Lowther Forest on Sunday.

The PH-Sport team has already competed on this event in 2007, with a Citroën C2 Super 1600 for Conrad Rautenbach. Simon Jean-Joseph is new to the rally. Jack Boyère has competed on it twice previously.