A CRAZY WEEK !
After four intense days and more than 300 kilometres of special stages in difficult weather conditions, Sébastien Chardonnet and Thibault De La Haye finished regularly in the top 10, with most notably a high point on the second day in SS8 where they set the second fastest time in the stage, behind Ogier !The crew of the #18 Citroen DS3 WRC showed some strong performances on the Alpine roads, despite a few mistakes. They were caught out twice by the tricky conditions, first in SS1 when they went off the road in the first corners (suspension triangle and loss of grip), as well as in SS10 when they lost the car at the 15-kilometre mark, dropping 150 cm off the road. However, they made an impact both by their performance and their top speed.Throughout the event, tyre choice proved to be the most important point in terms of strategy, as the road conditions were extremely difficult. However, "Seb & Thibault" were keen to shine on home ground, as both are from Nice and this was therefore their local event.
With a 2011-version Citroën DS3 WRC de 2011, Seb and his co-driver put in some fine performances on this 83rd edition of the Monte Carlo Rally, their first in the WRC. Setting the 2nd fastest time behind Ogier in SS8, and 7th in both SS13 and SS15, ahead of some of the official factory cars, as well as many top six intermediary , they showed definite potential.
Sébastien Chardonnet (Pilote) : "To do the Monte Carlo in the WRC was a childhood dream ! A fantastic event, but very difficult. The weather can be extremely tricky, and strategy is mainly a case of tyre choice. Overall, we had a good rally, where we were regularly in the top 10 as well as a great result in SS8. We are happy, even if a few mistakes spoiled the results, especially in the first special stage, which meant we were under Super Rallye conditions for the rest of the event. After that, we really tried to shine ! The keyword for Thibault and myself throughout this adventure was to never let go and to make an impact. We would like to thank everyone who made this adventure possible, and especially the Bernard Piallat’s team PH SPORT for their excellent work."
Thibault De La Haye (Co-pilote) : "This edition of the Monte Carlo proved to be historically difficult, but despite our lack of experience of this car compared to the best drivers in the world, we showed that we had the speed to be up with the leaders. There is still a long way to go and we have a lot of work to do, but I would already like to thank all those who were part of this project…."
Bernard Piallat (Team Principal PH SPORT) : "Seb and Thibault had a very good rally with some real highpoints, most notably their 2nd fastest time, and some low points (going off twice), which did not allow them to really express themselves freely, as they had to regain their confidence each time. But they were able to show that they had the pace, and this is promising for the future."
Daniel Elena (Manager Sebastien Chardonnet et Thibault De La Haye) :"They put in a solid performance in this race. The conditions were extremely delicate on this Monte Carlo, as we knew to our own cost. At this level, everything happens very quickly. It’s a good experience for them… "
The Monte Carlo adventure is not yet over for our two friends ! From this week they will be taking part in the 18th edition of the Historic Monte Carlo, where as part of the Chardonnet Compétition team they will be busy, with four cars entered. Like last year, Daniel Elena will take the start of this rally behind the wheel of one of their cars.