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[23-02-2019]
STUNNING R5 VICTORY AND SECOND OVERALL FOR PIERRE RAGUES IN CÔTE FLEURIE Photo News
Pierre Ragues stormed to a stunning second place overall in this weekend’s Rallye de la Côte Fleurie, scoring two stage wins in his Skoda Fabia R5 and finishing the competitive rally as the fastest of the R5 drivers.
 
It was another impressive performance for the Caen-born ace alongside co-driver Julien Pesenti. The crew completed the 126.7km rally just 23 seconds from the outright winner who was driving WRC-spec machinery, ending the rally in style.
 
Across ten timed stages, Pierre took overall stage wins in SS1 (Prologue - Les Lais de Mer - 3.70km) and SS10 (Quetteville - Genneville - 18.30 km), as well as being the fastest R5 competitor in the majority of stages.
 
128 entrants contested the 49th running of the popular Côte Fleurie event, part of the Coupe de France des Rallyes with Pierre once again demonstrating his rally flair against a vastly experienced field. 
 
He quickly found his feet in the Michelin equipped Skoda Fabia R5, taking a stage win on the event’s opening stage on Friday evening. Saturday saw the bulk of the action with a loop of three stages repeated three times during the day. 
 
Despite a small issue in SS5, when he went straight on and lost a few seconds of time, he remained on front-running pace. In SS8, the 12.9km run through Blonville-sur-Mer, Pierre was impressively just 0.2s behind the WRC pace setter before ending the rally with the best time to cement his second place overall. 
 
The result marked Pierre’s third consecutive podium at Côte Fleurie, having won in a WRC car twelve months ago, and taking the R5 win in 2017.   
 
Pierre commented: “What a fantastic rally, and an exciting final loop! It is always a joy to take part in Rallye de la Côte Fleurie, and to have the chance to compete against such an impressive line-up of rally crews. I am pleased with how Julien and I approached the event in our Skoda Fabia R5. Finishing as the fastest R5, and second overall, is a great achievement - and continues my strong form in this rally. We had a near perfect event, really, aside from a small issue in SS5 that lost us some time. I was impressed by the performance of the car and our Michelin tyres, which allowed us to take two stage wins and fight closely with WRC machinery. Côte Fleurie is like the unofficial start of my competitive season, so it’s nice to get things underway in such a positive manner. Together with my partners GroupAuto, Top Garage, Yacco and Ellip6, we can reflect on an enjoyable weekend.”

Final Results
 
1. E. Brunson / C. Mondon – Ford Fiesta RS WRC 
2. P. Ragues / J. Pesenti – Skoda Fabia R5 
3. T. Chauffay / P. Vaultier – Ford Fiesta R5
4. S. Pustelnik / L. Pustelnik – Citroën DS3 WRC
5. M. Amourette / A. Gauduin – Citroën DS3 R5