Victory for AEC-DG Sport Competition and Citroën Racing to start the WRC2 season!
Even though the latter led the dance after the two extremely popular night stages, Gryazin took control in the tough opener on Saturday. It was the start of a cat-and-mouse game, with the lead changing hands after each special stage! On Friday evening, Gryazin was in the lead, and had 1.3 seconds in hand over Lopez and 6.2 over Rossel. Exciting!
The fight continued without on Saturday. And although Gryazin retained the lead after the morning stages, Lopez passed him in the afternoon… until the Citroën C3 Rally2 re-took the lead in the last stage of the day, with only 0.2 seconds! The final stage was held in darkness, but that did not prevent Yohan Rossel from returning to within 6.7 seconds of his teammate Gryazin.
On the final day, Nikolay Gryazin lacked some rhythm on the completely dry stages, but with a brilliant final push, Rossel successfully claimed a second victory in WRC2 in the Monte Carlo Rally. Teammate Gryazin completed the podium. “Unbelievable,” said an emotional Yohan Rossel when he parked his car after the Power Stage. “Yesterday I realized that if we did not attack as hard as possible, we would not win. So we have stepped it up a notch! It is fantastic to be able to win here. And it feels very good!”
Nikolay Gryazin, who had fought for victory for a long time, was not too disappointed. “We gave it everything, but the conditions on Sunday were so different,” he said. “However, the car performed very well, which is a good sign for the future. Of course, I am a bit disappointed with the result, but a podium finish also provides important points for the championship.”
“We expected a fierce battle in WRC2, and that’s what we got,” team principal Alain Georges said. “Three drivers stood out, and two of them were Yohan and Nikolay. On Saturday evening, after setting the fastest time on the last stage, Yohan was very motivated. He felt he could win, and he proved it on Sunday! It was more difficult for Nikolay because he had not been able to test in dry conditions during our preparation for the Monte Carlo. Anyway, with a first and a third, both cars are on the podium. We could hardly have wished for a better start to the season. I would like to congratulate the entire team and both driving duos, it was a fascinating spectacle. The tone is set…”
With the Monte Carlo Rally barely finished, AEC-DG Sport Competition is already heading towards the Arctic Rally, which is scheduled to take place in Finland from Thursday onwards. Nikolay Gryazin and Konstantin Aleksandrov take the start in winter conditions, optimally preparing their Citroën C3 Rally2 for the Rally of Sweden, the second round of the FIA WRC.
© Image credits Citroën Racing