document : Citroen Top Driver series off to a flying start


Citroen Top Driver series off to a flying start
information supplied by: Citroen 18 March 2013

Created following the inclusion of the new WRC3 category in this season’s World Rally Championship, the Citroën Top Driver series is set to make its debut on the world scene at Rally de Portugal in a few weeks time. The formula has already been a huge success, as no fewer than nine European crews will line up at the start of the rally in a Citroën DS3 R3.

The final rung of the ladder leading to the upper echelons of rallying, Citroën Top Driver is above all an
affordable, professional formula which will reward the winning crew with a programme of six WRC2 rallies
in 2014.

Composed of four gravel rallies and two tarmac events, it will also feature a team competition for
teams entering at least two cars.

As entries for Rally de Portugal are now closed, these eight crews will now head for the Algarve in order to battle it out in Citroën DS3 R3s.

Five different nationalities will be represented with the Swiss pair of Francesco Parli and Federico Della Casa, the German Christian Riedemann, the Italian Simone Campedelli, the French trio of Sébastien Chardonnet, Quentin Gilbert and
Bryan Bouffier, the Irishmans Keith Cronin and Alastair Fisher.

“We are pleased with the success that Citroën’s new challenge has enjoyed for this first round of the season”, commented a delighted Marek Nawarecki, Customer Racing Manager for Citroën Racing.

“Among the entrants, we have two 2012 Citroën Racing Trophy winners in Quentin Gilbert (France) and Keith Cronin (UK), whilst the other drivers have produced strong performances in national promotional formulas and championships, such as Sébastien Chardonnet, Bryan Bouffier and Christian Riedemann.

This reflects the spirit of Citroën Top Driver perfectly since they will now be able to compete against each
other in an international formula. Given the quality of the field, I think we can all look forward to an
exciting, closely contested season.”

THE ENTRANTS

Bryan Bouffier
Age: 34 years old
Nationality: French
Co-driver: Xavier Panseri
Team: Delta Rally
Competitive record
Three-time Polish Rally Champion (2007, 2008 and 2009)
Winner of the Rallye Monte Carlo (IRC 2010)
French Rally Champion (2011)

Simone Campedelli
Age: 25 years old
Nationality: Italian
Co-driver: Danilo Fappani
Team: Saintéloc Racing
Competitive record
Italian champion under 23 (2009)
Italian Champion Junior (2011)
2WD Italian Champion (2011 and 2012)

Sébastien Chardonnet
Age: 24 years old
Nationality: French
Co-driver: Thibault de la Haye
Team: Top Teams
Competitive record
Karting, single-seater and GT3 (1999 – 2009)
Runner-up in the Citroën Racing Trophy (2010)
Group R winner at the Rallye Monte Carlo 2013
Current leader of the WRC3 2013

Keith Cronin
Age: 26 years old
Nationality: Irish
Co-driver: Clark Marshall
Team: Citroën Charles Hurst
Competitive record
Three-time British Rally Champion (2009, 2010 and 2012 in a DS3 R3)
Winner of the UK Citroën Racing Trophy (2012)

Federico Della Casa
Age: 21 years old
Nationality: Swiss
Co-driver: Marco Menchini
Team: Procar
Competitive record
Competed in the Switzerland Citroën Racing Trophy (2011 and 2011)

Alastair Fisher
Age: 24 years old
Nationality: British
Co-driver: TBC
Team: Saintéloc Racing
Competitive record
British Championship (2010)
Third in the 2011 WRC Academy
Winner of the Rally de Portugal and runner-up in the Acropolis Rally in the 2012 WRC Academy

Quentin Gilbert
Age: 23 years old
Nationality: French
Co-driver: Isabelle Galmiche
Team: Top Teams
Competitive record
Winner of the “Rallye Jeunes” (young rally drivers) initiative in 2009
Winner of the France Citroën Racing Trophy (2012)

Francesco Parli
Age: 41 years old
Nationality: Swiss
Co-driver: Tania Canton
Team: Procar
Competitive record
Runner-up in the European Championship in the two-wheel drive category in a DS3 R3 (2012)

Christian Riedemann
Age: 25 years old
Nationality: German
Co-driver: Lara Vanneste
Team: Team Riedemann
Competitive record
Runner-up in the German Rally Championship in a DS3 R3 (2012)

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