DG Sport Compétition from heaven to hell at the Rallye de Monte-Carlo
As previously announced, Stéphane Lefebvre was one of the stalwart candidates for victory in the WRC2 category in the 90th Rallye de Monte-Carlo. Thursday evening, during the ‘Night of the Turini’, the Frenchman defending the DG Sport Compétition colours clocked up the 4th and 3rd best times. Prelude to a quite exceptional Friday, which kicked off…with a scratch! The first of a series of three. And at the finish of the SS8, Lefebvre, Malfoy, DG Sport and the Citroën C3 Rally2 were quite plainly leading the category in front of Mikkelsen and Rossel!
“An unbelievable day, which clearly proved that the 2022 evolutions carried out on the Citroën C3 Rally2 have made it even more competitive, Alain Georges, the man in charge of DG Sport Compétition, commented. Perfect tyre management and Stéphane’s driving did the rest! Magical! We are in the lead of a round of the WRC2, and the Monte-Carlo to boot! »
Unfortunately for DG Sport Compétition the joy was short lived. During the evening, the Sporting Stewards decided to impose Lefebvre with a penalty… of 30 minutes! In fact, the driver’s team of openers had made a mistake during Friday’s final clocked time, bringing their car to a standstill just after the Flying Finish of SS8, which is considered to be a hindrance risk in the smooth running of the event. These voluntary openers had merely come to watch the day’s final special stage as enthusiastic amateurs …
“We did not win our case during our meeting with the Clerk of the Course, Alain Georges continued. And we have expressed our intention to go into appeal, as soon as it is clear that we derived no advantage from this situation. Furthermore, in no way did we hinder the smooth running of the event, nor was it detrimental to the basic safety regulations. Several circumstances prodded the openers to act in this way, and we had the intention of making it officially known … »
An appeal procedure that will ultimately serve no purpose, insofar as, having set the 3rd fastest time in the first special stage of the day, retaining the lead in the category, Stéphane Lefebvre spun the car just before the finish of the fearsome SS10 Saint-Jeannet/Malijai. With the right rear wheel sheared off, it was over for the DG Sport Compétition crew on a stage marked by the absence of any possible assistance.
|“That’s sport, that’s rallying, a resigned Alain Georges commented. Beyond the administrative events that drained body and soul, we have shown more than ever that DG Sport Compétition holds its place among the leading players in the WRC2 category, and that our Citroën C3 Rally2 was in full command of the competition prior to certain things complicating matters. We will now digest this disappointment, recharge our batteries, and come back stronger than ever …”
Pictures : Citroën Racing