Promising start for Peugeot Academy drivers Suarez and Berfa

by Vince Pettit

Peugeot Rally Academy drivers Jose Antonio Suarez and Jordan Berfa got their 2016 FIA World Rally Championship season off to a positive start in Monte-Carlo this weekend.

Suarez was taking part in the WRC2 class in a Peugeot 208T16, which along with co-driver Candido Carrera, they took to sixth place in the class; It wasn’t all plain sailing though as the pair suffered a puncture on SS1 then had an off-track excursion on the ‘Lardier et Valença-Faye’ stage (SS9) followed by a puncture on the return to the stage. A great end to a promising weekend came when they set the fastest WRC2 time over the famous Col de Turini stage.

“I’m thrilled with this result for my first ever attempt at the Rallye Monte-Carlo,” said Suarez. “The conditions were extremely difficult all weekend, including stages where the grip kept changing from start to finish. Our aim was to reach the end and that’s what we did. I picked up lots of experience along the way over the four days, and that’s important for the rest of the season.”

Berfa and co-driver Damien Augustin took their Peugeot 208R2 to an RC4 class victory whilst finishing second in the WRC3 class, picking up a stage win on the way.

“I never imagined before the start that I would score such a good result,” said Berfa. “What’s even more pleasing is that we followed our instructions to the letter. All the good work with the Peugeot Rallye Academy paid off, notably with regard to tyre choices. It was a long, hard event and great experience. We managed to pull out a gap on Saturday and then control the situation on the final day.”

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