French driver pulls off a stunning feat in the WRC – “The confidence in the car was at a crazy level”

Frenchman Yohan Rossel made a spectacular impression in the WRC2 class at the Rally Sardinia just over a week ago.
Yohan Rossel
Yohan Rossel. Photo: Citroen Racing
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Although Sami Pajari won the class in a dominant fashion, Rossel’s climb to the podium was undoubtedly an impressive achievement. The Citroën driver suffered a puncture on the third special stage on Friday evening, dropping him more than two minutes behind the leader.

On Saturday, Rossel began a determined push towards the top positions. He set the fastest class times on all eight stages of the day. Of course, Rossel’s task was made somewhat easier by the fact that Pajari did not need to push flat out, as the Finn focused on securing his lead.

“The best feeling is always when you’re leading the race, but Saturday was the most unforgettable day of my career on gravel so far. The confidence in the car was incredible, and I was pushing to the limit,” Rossel sighed after the race.

“The feeling in the car was amazing, and the confidence was at a crazy level. The team also did a perfect job. I used to feel that way on asphalt, but now I’ve got the same feeling on gravel.”

In the end, Rossel climbed to second place in his class. The gap to the race-winning Pajari was 32.3 seconds. Spanish driver Jan Solans was seven seconds behind Rossel.

Rossel is particularly remembered from past years as an asphalt specialist, but his gravel pace has also improved. However, the Frenchman admits that it is not worth aiming for points in the fast gravel rallies of the summer.

“The plan is to race on gravel in the Canary Islands in July and then perhaps the Rally Finland, but I won’t be competing for points there. That race would be just for learning, as it will be my second participation in the Rally Finland. The goal is to close the gap to the local guys,” Rossel explained.

The WRC2 championship battle promises to be an exciting one. As different drivers compete in different rallies throughout the season, the points standings can fluctuate. Nevertheless, Rossel now has one win and two second places under his belt.

“It’s hard to say what the championship situation is because different drivers race in different rallies than I do. However, we have had good speed on every surface, so the goal is to win more on gravel too. I will probably compete for points again at the Rally of Greece,” Rossel reflected.

“It was a great result for me to be able to finish second after a major problem on the first day.”

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