Day 1 : The Citroen C2s get off to a good start
The 2008 Junior World Rally Championship got underway in hot and dry conditions for the C2 Junior Experience drivers this morning. The day's action consisted of 135.74 competitive kilometres, split into two loops of three
stages followed by two runs through the spectator superspecial, situated between the towns of Leon and Silao. At the end of the day, the French crew of Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (who are not registered for the C2 Junior Experience) lead the Junior classification in their Citroen C2 Super 1600, on their very first World Championship Rally.
" On one special stage this morning, I nearly ran over a dog so I lost a bit of time avoiding it. On the whole though, the first loop of stages went well for us. I was a bit tense before our first rally of the year, and I think that showed through the first few stages. The afternoon was much better for us, and we set some decent times. "
" The stages were really difficult this morning, especially as I still had to get used to the C2- R2, which is an entirely new car for me. Everything is new for me in fact, both the stages and the car, so it's not at all easy. I'm pleased though that we've got to the end of the day with no problems. Getting to the end of every day was one of our main goals, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow now. "
Shaun Gallagher (EI)
" The car was really good this morning but I still didn't feel comfortable as I was sick. After I saw Citroen's doctor at lunchtime the afternoon went better. My feeling with the C2 Super 1600 is improving with every stage we do. I hope that we'll go a bit better tomorrow so that I can concentrate 100% on my driving ; especially as it's the longest day in terms of competitive kilometres. "
Sebastien Ogier (F)
" At the start of the day, we experienced a small problem. The spare wheel strap was broken, so we had to change it on the road section on the way to the first stage. Then at the end of that first stage we had a front-left puncture. On the following stages we decided to slow down slightly in order to avoid another puncture, and that worked well for us. We're pleased to have set nearly all the fastest times on our first rally so far, but we're keeping our feet firmly on the ground. We cannot take anything for granted, and the finish is not until Sunday. "
Martin Prokop (CZ)
" We just got caught out on the first stage and so we rolled three times. The car was on its roof and it took us a while to get it back on its wheels as there were no spectators around to help. There was quite a lot of damage to the bodywork, the left-rear window was broken and the interior of the car was covered in dust. Luckily we were able to get through the next two stages and reach the service park. Unfortunately, we had to retire in SS4 at the start of the second loop with a broken engine sensor. We plan to re-start tomorrow morning under the SupeRally system though. "