Yohan Rossel produced an accomplished drive in the C3 Rally2 to take the WRC2 class win at Rally de Portugal on the Power Stage, the event’s final speed test. It was a first-class performance at one of the most demanding rounds of the World Rally Championship.

The C3 Rally2 driver secured his second consecutive victory after winning in Croatia in April. In addition to this impressive performance in the WRC2 class, Rossel also finished tenth overall at Rally de Portugal.

Rossel’s two successive wins take him top of the WRC2 drivers’ standings. He thus seizes control of the championship on the event that the WRC celebrated its 50th anniversary, a symbolic statement for Citroën Racing, one of the greatest brands in the history of the sport and one that still plays a leading role in the WRC2.

Aware of the difficulties posed by the Portuguese gravel, Yohan Rossel, alongside co-driver Valentin Sarreaud, used his experience and the efficiency of his C3 Rally2 to adopt a smart approach to the rally.

The crews were put to the test on Thursday night of Rally de Portugal, starting SS1 without a service. In light of this, the Rossel-Sarreaud crew implemented a perfect strategy, enabling them to move up the standings throughout the day and end the opening leg second in position.

Following the marathon first day, Yohan Rossel and Valentin Sarreaud adopted a sharper approach to day two, allowing them to set stages times consistently among the leaders. Full of confidence in the C3 Rally2, Rossel and Sarreaud remained in touch with the leader at the end of Saturday’s leg.

On Sunday, Yohan Rossel produced a balanced performance, pushing whilst managing his pace to claim a celebrated victory at Rally de Portugal after a dramatic ending on the Power Stage.

Efficient in Monte-Carlo and then unbeatable in Croatia and Portugal, the C3 Rally2 has clearly established itself as the benchmark in its class, with proven reliability on a variety of road surfaces – ice, tarmac and gravel.

Jans Solans and his co-driver Rodrigo Sanjuan de Eusebio had to rejoin under “Super Rally” rules before showing some promising speed during Sunday’s third leg. Another who had to rejoin under “Super Rally” rules after retiring from Saturday’s leg, José-Pedro Fontes, alongside co-driver Ines Ponte, set some encouraging times on day three.

Paulo Caldeira and his co-driver Ana Gonçalves finished third in the Portuguese Rally Championship standings. A performance that puts them back in contention for the national title.

Competing in Portugal to add to his experience at world level, Jonathan Rieu, alongside co-driver Jules Escartefique, scored a positive result, making good progress to finish in the RC2 top ten.

Eric Camilli-Thibault de la Haye and Sean Johnston-Alexander Kihurani had mixed misfortunes. Unfortunately, Camilli was unable to line up at the start. Investigations are being conducted by Citroën Racing’s technical team to find out why the SaintéLoc team’s crew retired. Meanwhile, Johnston had to retire during the opening leg one after an off.

The C3 Rally2 also produced a fine performance in the French Rally Championship this weekend with Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud. The four-time French champions claimed their first win of the season at one of the trickiest events on the calendar: the Rallye Antibes-Côte d’Azur.


Yohan Rossel, Winner in the WRC2 class at Rally de Portugal

“It was a very tricky rally. This win is very important for Citroën Racing and the WRC2 championship. This result is just reward for all the work we have done since the start of the year. I feel very confident in the C3 Rally2. Of course, we are now leading the WRC2, but we won’t get carried away – there is still a long way to go this season. We have to keep working to hold onto this position and to increase my pace in the car in order to get to grips more effectively with the next few rounds of the WRC2.”

Bernard Piallat, PH Sport manager

“Yohan Rossel managed to keep up the pressure on the leader of the WRC2 throughout the rally. Obviously, it’s a somewhat unexpected win, but certainly not undeserved because Yohan and Valentin had a very solid race. This win takes us top of the WRC2 standings and we’re now going to everything we can to stay there.”

Yoann Bonato, Winner of the Rallye Antibes-Côte d’Azur

“This win comes at the perfect moment after my podium in the ERC. The whole team did a fantastic job to provide me with a very fast C3 Rally2, which enabled me to feel comfortable to push. This is my first win in Antibes but we’ll need to keep the same pace at the Rallye Vosges-Grand Est on 11-12 June.”

Didier Clément, Head of Customer Racing, Citroën Racing

“The C3 Rally2 produced some fine performances this weekend at events that are all about speed and reliability. On the Portuguese gravel and on the tarmac roads of Rallye Antibes-Côte d’Azur, Yohan Rossel and Yoann Bonato both showed impressive speed. These two wins, at events that are really demanding for the crews and their cars, highlights all the work that we have done in development.”

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