The CitroÃ«n Racing Trophy crews will line-up alongside the World Rally Championship crews on next weekends Rallye de France, based in Alsace.
Strasbourg will play host to the event, which will double up as both the Rally de France and the Grand National. This is the first time that the city has hosted either event.
The French Championship classifications will be made after 12 stages, and some 219 kilometres, but the crews have the chance to take on the additional 100km, which forms part of the WRC event.
The crews which elect to take on the additional stages, will have the chance to pit themselves directly against the WRC runners, something they will surely relish.
“It's a fantastic adventure for us to embark on such an unaccustomed rally like this one. There are going to be some very fierce rivals out there, but we're going to do everything we can to show the very best of ourselves and come close to the best in class”, said Marc Amourette.
Mathieu Artzner is looking to gather experience on the rally, but to deliver a good performance at the same time/
“We don't know anything at all about this type of event, so our objective will be simply to put in a good performance. It's a massive rally for us, and the experience that we are sure to gain is already like scoring a victory”, said Artzner.
Germain Bonnefis spoke of his dream to compete with the WRC runners, “By competing on a high-profile event like this one, which forms part of the World Rally Championship, I am making a dream that I've had since I was a boy finally come true. From a sporting point of view, our goal will be to go for the win in the R2 class and the CitroÃ«n Racing Trophy standings. Beyond that, I would love to put in some top stage times, in order to be as close as possible to the Super 1600 cars”.
Eric Lafont also spoke of the WRC runners, and particularly the atmosphere it will bring to the event.
“Once more, the only real objective I have is to enjoy myself! We'll start the Grand National with the same philosophy that we have on all the other events. Our goal is just to get to the finish and soak up the unique atmosphere of a World Rally Championship event”, said Lafont
Jean-Renaud Marchal was one of few to mention that the regulations would be different for the event, “We know already that it's going to be a very tricky rally, both on cars and on people. The fact that we're going to be subject to World Rally Championship regulations is an additional hurdle. This is a brand new challenge and it's up to us to make the most of it”.
“We're extremely proud to be a part of this rally in Alsace, which doubles up as a World Rally Championship event. We need to stay focussed and reliable throughout the 320 competitive kilometres that we are going to tackle, but we're determined to give our all to secure a good result”, said MickaÃ«l Reydellet, who is obviously aiming to put on a show for the fans.
JÃ©rÃ´me Schmitt outlined his plans to be sensible throughout, and to enjoy the fact he is competing with the WRC crews, “Even though we're missing a bit of time in the car, we're actually quite confident, as we really have a good feeling with the C2-R2 MAX. We've wanted to take part in this round of the World Rally Championship for a long time now, but we're under no illusions: we just want to get to the finish and drive a sensible rally”.