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[20-02-2018]
PIERRE RAGUES READY TO RALLY CITROËN DS3 WRC AT CÔTE FLEURIE Photo News
Pierre Ragues will take part in his first competitive event of the 2018 season this weekend, as he takes to the wheel of a Citroën DS3 WRC car in Rallye de le Côte Fleurie. 
 
The 48th running of the classic Côte Fleurie event will once again mark the opening round of the Coupe de France des Rallyes. Pierre has taken part in the event with notable success in the R5 class for the previous two seasons, but this year’s edition will represent the Caen-born motorsport ace’s first rally in a WRC-specification car. 
 
In the 2017 rally, Pierre triumphed in the R5 class but was beaten into second place overall by WRC machinery. He will therefore be looking to go one step better this weekend with some of the most competitive technical packages in the rally. 
 
The popular event covers 11 special stages for its 2018 edition, with competitors covering a stage distance of 132.2km. Including the liaison sections, the total is 321.2km. A short Friday evening stage will act as the event precursor with a full day of ten stages on Saturday. 
 
A loop of four stages will be run twice during the day with a third pass of the 11.90km Tourgeville-Saint Etienne la Thillaye and 14.40km Genneville-Quetteville stages to bring the event to a thrilling conclusion. 
 
Pierre has been working hard over the winter to keep his race craft on point, making use of the Ellip6 simulation centre to prepare for this weekend’s rally. He also conducted a thorough shakedown of the car, which has been loaned from PH Sport, last week alongside co-driver Julien Pesenti. The Frenchman is finalising plans for the rest of his 2018 season with his management and partners GroupAuto, Top Garage and Sparco. 
 
Pierre commented: “This year’s edition of Rallye de le Côte Fleurie will be a particularly special one for me, as I make my debut in WRC-spec machinery. The Citroën DS3 is a fantastic car. I carried out a detailed shakedown last week and I have been impressed with its handling. I’m eager to get behind the wheel in full rally mode alongside Julien. I have good memories of this event from previous years, having won in the R5 category, but I now have my sights set on outright victory this year. As the opening round of the Coupe de France, it’s a popular and important event. Winning would be the best way to get my 2018 season off to a flying start. As always, I’ll have the support of my partners GroupAuto, Top Garage, Yacco, Sparco and Ellip6, which will give me an added boost.”   
 
Schedule
 
Friday 23 February 

SS1 20:00 Groupe Barrière  4.70km
 
Saturday 24 February

SS2 09:02 Blonville-Villers sur mer 13.30km

SS3 09:41 Tourgeville-Saint Etienne la Thillaye 11.90km

SS4 10:59 Saint André d’Hebertot – Sain Benoit d’Hebertot 11km

SS5 11:32 Genneville-Quetteville 14.40km

SS6 14:15 Blonville-Villers sur mer 13.30km

SS7 14:48 Tourgeville-Saint Etienne la Thillaye 11.90km

SS8 16:06 Saint André d’Hebertot – Sain Benoit d’Hebertot 11km

SS9 16:39 Genneville-Quetteville 14.40km

SS10 19:27 Tourgeville-Saint Etienne la Thillaye 11.90km

SS11 20:00 Genneville-Quetteville 14.40km