Chardonnet ready to rewrite history on Monte Carlo Rally


Thirty-six years ago, the Lancia Stratos Chardonnet was victorious with Bernard Darniche ... Entered in the 83rd edition of the most senior of road events with a DS3 WRC, the grandson of the iconic Lancia importer is ready for the challenge.

After two consecutive wins in the two-wheel-drive category of the Monte Carlo Rally, in 2013 and 2014, Sébastien Chardonnet and his co-driver Thibault De La Haye, have arrived in Monaco for the Rally Monte Carlo, the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship, and they are raring to go.Entered under the number 18, they hope to once again add their names to the record books in one of the world’s most legendary races ! No Black Jack or casino visits for the two friends, but 355.48 kilometres, divided into fifteen special stages, through some of the most beautiful French roads from Monaco to Gap.

Considered today as one of the best drivers of his generation, Sébastien has been taking part in rounds of the World Rally Championship since 2012. This edition of the Rally Monte-Carlo will be his 22nd WRC start.

In 2013, "Seb and Thibault" won the WRC 3 category of the World Rally Championship as well as the first edition of the Citroën Top Driver. These titles gave the status of an official Citroën Racing team, with the 2014 mission to give the Citroën DS3 R5 its competition debut in the WRC2 World Championship. Having been a protégé of Daniel Elena since his debut on the world stage, he was also in charge of some of the development of this car. During the season, despite its interesting potential, the car suffered too frequently on the often challenging routes used during the World Championship, and did not allow the young French crew, members of the 2012 and 2013 French Rally Team, to make the most of the results that were often within their grasp.

SEBASTIEN CHARDONNET (Driver) : "I really can’t wait to get underway. Along with my partners and my support team, we have had an incredible amount of work in recent weeks in order to get this project underway. To do the Monte Carlo in the WRC is a childhood dream, and to fight among the leading drivers in the world – and it’s really going to happen ! At the start of the week we did two days testing in the Ardèche, and then in the Vercors region in order to get to grips with this DS3 car, which we last drove in October 2012, when we claimed a good 10th overall position in the Rally of France Alsace. I am very satisfied with the testing, and with the professionalism of the PH SPORT team. I feel really at ease, and I trust the car, which is in the 2012 version for this event. The new FIA WRC homologation will not play in our favour, but with Thibault we feel ready to fight and to give the best of ourselves, in order to shine on these roads that we enjoy so much!"

THIBAULT DE LA HAYE (Co-Driver) : "The DS3 WRC is impressive ! I remembered from the 2012 Alsace event that it was a redoubtable machine, but I think that this time ‘Seb’ is able to get much more out of it thanks to our four-wheel-drive experience from last season. In all humility, we really want to shine, and cannot wait to compare ourselves to the elite drivers on the world stage, such as the two other Sebs, as well as all the Hyundai, Volkswagen and Ford drivers etc…”

BERNARD PIALAT (PH SPORT) : "I am delighted with this collaboration. We already had the opportunity to work together with Sébastien and Thibault during their participation in the Rally of France Alsace in 2012. That race saw them score their first point in the World Rally Championship. They have the potential and the experience to get a really good result, and they are aiming for more than a tenth place on this event. The whole PH SPORT team is supporting them."


Known for their daring and bold designs, for this 2015 edition Seb and Thibault will drive a Citroën DS3 WRC with GOLDEN highlights and in the colours of their partners : BRM (Bernard Richards Manufacture), BIGBEN Interactive (Video game publisher, in particular of the official WRC game), KT Games (Video game manufacturer of the official WRC 5 game), (Automotive equipment dealer), P1 (Manufacturer of racing overalls and fireproof garments) and last but not least, All Sports Management (Event management and sporting coordination company).

Related Motorsport Articles

82,745 articles