Citroen accepts young drivers' errors

Citroen bosses have played down the errors made by Junior Team drivers Sebastien Ogier and Evgeny Novikov on the final day of the Cyprus Rally

Citroen accepts young drivers' errors

The satellite Citroen squad had been on course to get all three cars in the points until Novikov rolled out of seventh place on this morning's first stage.

Ogier then became stuck in a ditch 200 metres from the rally finish while trying to stay ahead of Stobart Ford's Matthew Wilson in their battle for fifth.

But Citroen team director Olivier Quesnel said he expected mistakes from his young drivers, with both Ogier and Novikov in their first seasons with World Rally Cars.

"Sebastien Ogier and Novikov are quite young, this is why we call this the Citroen Junior Team," said Quesnel.

"Novikov did some rolls. Seb did one yesterday and it would not have been too bad to finish fifth. But 200 metres before the stage finish he made a mistake. We must remember one year and a half ago he was with a standard (Peugeot 206 Cup) car.

"We will see later on (in their careers). It is not a problem for me."

Conrad Rautenbach was the only one of the Junior trio to reach the finish, taking a distant sixth place.

Citroen Junior team manager Benoit Nogier admitted that his squad had hoped for better results, but said the strong stage times his drivers had set made up for their mistakes.

"It is disappointing for us to see only one of our cars at the finish. But the crews all set promising times throughout the weekend," he said.

"Evgeny set off at a good pace this morning, but he went off the road during the first stage this morning and sadly he was not able to get back on. Sebastien had beaten Matthew Wilson and needed only a few hundred metres more to seal a good result.

"The next rally, in Portugal, should be a little bit easier for our drivers - who are all still learning."

shares
comments
Hirvonen confident Loeb is beatable

Previous article

Hirvonen confident Loeb is beatable

Next article

Rivals praise Loeb's achievement

Rivals praise Loeb's achievement
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021