With 202 crews at the start, a challenging layout winding its way between mountains and the seaplus a large number of spectators present in the twelve timed stages, the Rallye du Var remainsthe highlight the season. While the outcome of the French Rally Championship was being decidedin the 57th event, the Citroën Racing Trophy was thinking European and invited the protagonistsin the formula from the four corners of the continent. It was a successful move crowned by a doublevictory. The DS3 R3 driven by Matthieu Arzeno / Renaud Jamoul won in Group R, while SébastienCondroyer and his co-driver Céline Cavallaro created a big upset by triumphing in the R2 categoryin their C2-R2 MAX.
Despite the very sunny conditions that reigned throughout the week, the competitors met with difficultroad conditions. The itinerary, quasi-identical to that of the previous years, varied from narrow twistyroads to quick, bumpy sections. The damp and sometimes dirty surface posed a problem for the crews asthey had to cope with frequent grip changes. The 35 Citroëns taking part went at it hammer and tongsright from the green light, and Mathieu Arzeno led the field of red cars from start to finish. He took thechequered flag in Group B followed by Cédric Robert with Marc Amourette hanging onto fourth place inthe category. Foreign drivers Czech Jan Cerny, Hungarian Robert Butor and Giuseppe Botta from Italyfinished in the top 10 in the group in their DS3 R3s. In C2-R2 MAX, Sébastien Condroyer backed up byCéline Cavallaro upset the predictions by winning the R2 category. The Var driver, who had just takenpart in his “thirtieth timed stage,” raced in the last round of the French Rally Championship for the firsttime in a C2-R2 MAX. Ludovic Bogey / Geoffrey Combe finished in a well-deserved second place, under8 seconds behind, after putting up a good fight against their main rival. A little further back, HungariansZoltan Bessenyey and Menyhert Krozser came home third and fourth with Tomasz Gryc from Polandrounding out the Top 5.
“The results of the weekend have been very satisfactory,” said a delighted Frédéric Bertrand, theCitroën Racing Competition Clients manager. “We’ve ended this successful season in the bestpossible fashion as our DS3 R3s and C2-R2 MAXs came out on top against a large very strongfield. This proves that our Citroëns were both reliable and quick on the Var layout, which isgenerally considered to be one of the toughest on the calendar. We can now start looking to nextyear. We’ll announce our 2012 programme in the near future with a few innovations and thecherry on the cake - some great prizes!”
Matthieu Arzeno / Renaud Jamoul (DS3 R3): « We’re happy to finish this season on a high note aswe’ve scored three victories in the DS3 R3 in the French Tarmac Rally Championship. Despite a smallmechanical problem mid-race the weekend went off pretty well, and we were able to control our lead tillthe end.”
Cédric Robert / Matthieu Duval (DS3 R3): “Overall, it’s all been very positive. We haven’t retired inany of our eight outings and we’ve scored some good results. For us, it’s proof that the DS3 R3 has beenquick and reliable and we’ve also enjoyed driving it throughout the whole season.”
Sébastien Condroyer / Céline Cavallaro (C2-R2 MAX): “This victory comes as a big surprise to us! Wedidn’t think we’d score such a good result in our first race in the C2-R2 MAX. I felt at home in the carand I got to grips with it straight away. We really enjoyed ourselves from start to finish and I hope we’llhave the opportunity to repeat this experience in the very near future.”
Ludovic Bogey / Geoffrey Combe (C2-R2 MAX): “The battle for victory never let up from start to finish.Sébastien Condroyer came out on top and I’d like to congratulate him. Overall, we’re very satisfied withour second place. The car was great and we didn’t have to make any additional setup changes as theones we had suited us down to the ground. All in all, it’s been a very positive experience for us.