NEWS - Pierre Ragues
PIERRE RAGUES Official Web Site
24H du Mans
Championnat de France



Pierre Ragues has taken an impressive victory in his opening event of the 2018 season, Rallye de le Côte Fleurie, winning overall by 20.2 seconds.
The popular rally marked Pierre’s debut in WRC specification machinery as he took control of a Citroën DS3 WRC alongside his co-driver Julien Pesenti.
The pair was on competitive form from the outset, winning Friday evening’s opening stage, the 4.7km run through Barriere – Lais de mer, and going on to take a total of seven stage wins against tough opposition.
As the opening round of the Coupe de France des Rallyes, the Côte Fleurie event is one that everyone wants to win. After finishing first in the R5 category last season, Pierre was ready to push for outright victory in his WRC car this year. 
In dry, cold and sunny conditions, the Caen ace had a strong event, fending off a strong challenge from Eric Brunson, also in WRC machinery. Saturday’s intense itinerary of ten special stages got underway with the second fastest time but two quickest times in SS3 and SS4, two 11km tests, allowed Pierre to build up a ten second lead.
Unfortunately, trouble struck in SS5 (Genneville-Quetteville) when Pierre endured a spin and a stall, losing ten seconds and wiping out most of his lead. He fought back quickly to reassert his potential, taking the next three stage wins and establishing a 20-second advantage. From there, he masterfully controlled the final timed runs. 
The crew ended the rally in style with a final stage win and taking a magnificent victory, his first overall win in a WRC car by 20.2 seconds.   
Pierre commented: “What a rally! I am over the moon to take my first win of the 2018 season in my debut with a WRC car. The Citroën DS3 WRC performed exceptionally well, and allowed Julien and me to stay concentrated and competitive across the event. We got off to a great start on Friday, winning the opening stage, and from there we built up good momentum on Saturday. The only difficult stage was SS5, in which we lost ten seconds with a spin and stall, but we didn’t let that affect our focus. We bounced back quickly with more stage wins, and from there we could build up and control our lead until the end of the event. It’s a great way to start 2018, and I am thankful to all my partners – GroupAuto, Top Garage, Sparco, Ellip6 – as well as to Yacco for their support. I am excited to see what the next chapter of 2018 brings!”   

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