Citroen Racing FIA Junior WRC Rally Poland preview

TWELVE JUNIORS TO COMPETE IN POLAND

JWRC preview- Poland and Lithuania host the second round of the Junior WRC.

- Twelve drivers born after 1st January 1986 have registered to take part in the category in Citroën DS3 R3s.

- French driver Stéphane Lefebvre leads the championship standings, ahead of the German Christian Riedemann and the Slovakian Martin Koci.

- At the end of the six-round season, the Junior WRC champion will earn the chance to compete in six rounds of the 2015 WRC2 in a Citroën DS3 R5 and succeed Sébastien Chardonnet, the winner of last year’s Citroën Top Driver.

Far from the demanding, rough gravel roads in Portugal at the opening rally of the season, Poland and Lithuania promise to provide the FIA Junior WRC crews with a much faster course.“The first round was very intense,” emphasized Marek Nawarecki, Customer Racing Manager at Citroën Racing. “We expect it to be a very close battle between the crews again in Poland. It’s a really great event, a fast and technical rally. Some of the drivers taking part already have some experience on the roads in the region. The same goes for Citroën Racing’s technical teams, since the event has been on the national Citroën Racing Trophy calendar for the last few years. It also worth noting that there is a wide variety of nationalities among the drivers involved the championship.”

Winner in Portugal, the Frenchman Stéphane Lefebvre continued to impress in April. After producing a performance of great maturity in the Algarve, he will be expected to do well at a rally in which he competed last season.

After taking the other podium spots in Portugal, Christian Riedemann and Martin Koci will obviously be his main rivals, although they don’t possess the same experience. Long-time leader of the opening round of the season, Alastair Fisher has already shown that he can be quick on World Championship roads. This second event will also give him the chance to open his account for the season.Like Fisher, Simone Campedelli ended the first rally of the calendar with five stage wins. However, having to rejoin under Rally 2 rules prevented him from winning.

The only Polish driver taking part in the Junior WRC, Aron Domzala may be able to use his local knowledge. Having competed twice before in Rally Poland, he also took part in rounds of the Lithuanian championship before making his debut in the JWRC. Another driver with experience in Mikolajki is the Hungarian Kornel Lukacs, who has competed twice in this event. In 2012, he even grabbed fifth place in his category in a Citroën DS3 R3. Like him, the Australian Molly Taylor has competed here before in a Citroën DS3 R3. She grabbed a podium finish in the Polish Citroën Racing Trophy last year.

With two drivers picking up points in Portugal (Stéphane Lefebvre and Quentin Giordano), France leads the standings in the Nations Trophy. It is followed by Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic, Australia and Cyprus.

WRC3 champion and winner of the Citroën Top Driver last season in a Citroën DS3 R3, Sébastien Chardonnet is this year competing in the WRC2. In his first outing in the Citroën DS3 R5, he finished second at Rally Sardegna Italia. Alongside co-driver Thibault de la Haye, he will be able to draw on this experience to keep improving in Poland.

THE TWELVE CREWS ENTERED52 – Simone Tempestini (ITA) / Dorin Pulpea (ROU)Driver date of birth: 12 August, 1994Team: Napoca Rally TeamLast result: Portugal – 6th

53 – Aron Domzala (POL) / Zawada Przemyslaw (POL)Driver date of birth: 1 August, 1989Team: Creative Rally SolutionsLast result: Portugal – retired

54 – Christian Riedemann (DEU) / Lara Vanneste (BEL)Date of birth: 27 August, 1987Team: MY RacingLast result: Portugal – 2nd

55 – Quentin Giordano (FRA) / Guillaume Duval (FRA)Date of birth: 10 June, 1986Team: PH SportLast result: Portugal – 10th

56 – Martin Koci (CZE) / Lukas Kostka (SVK)Date of birth: 5 April, 1993Team: Gekon RacingLast result: Portugal – 3rd

57 – Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA) / Thomas Dubois (FRA)Date of birth: 16 March, 1992Team: PH SportLast result: Portugal – 1st

58 – Molly Taylor (AUS) / Coral Taylor (AUS)Date of birth: 6 May, 1988Team: D Max Rally TeamLast result: Portugal – 8th

59 – Panikos Polykarpou (CYP) / Gerald Winter (AUT)Date of birth: 27 January, 1991Team: Team JagaLast result: Portugal – 9th

61 – Federico Della Casa (CHE) / Domenico Pozzi (ITA)Date of birth: 17 July, 1991Team: D Max Rally TeamLast result: Portugal – 4th

62 – Alastair Fisher (GBR) / Gordon Noble (GBR)Date of birth: 30 July, 1988Team: DGMLast result: Portugal – retired

63 – Kornel Lukacs (HUN) / Mark Mesterhazi (HUN)Date of birth: 5 September, 1991Team: Wurmbrandt RacingLast result: Portugal – 11th

65 – Simone Campedelli (ITA) / Danilo Fappani (ITA)Date of birth: 26 July, 1986Team: ProcarLast result: Portugal – 5th

2014 JUNIOR WRC DRIVERS’ STANDINGS1 Stéphane Lefebvre 25 points2 Christian Riedemann 18 points3 Martin Koci 15 points4 Federico Della Casa 12 points5 Simone Campedelli 10 points6 Simone Tempestini 8 points7 Jan Cerny 6 points8 Molly Taylor 4 points9 Panikos Polykarpou 2 points10 Quentin Giordano 1 point

NATIONS TROPHY1 France 26 points2 Germany 18 points3 Slovakia 15 points4 Switzerland 12 points5 Italy 10 points6 Romania 8 points7 Czech Republic 6 points8 Australia 4 points9 Cyprus 2 points