French young guns shine!
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi © DPPI

French young guns shine!

08/04/2018

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi put on a stonking performance and won the Junior WRC in the CORSICA linea – Tour de Corse. His fellow team-mate in the FFSA French Rally Team also impressed in WRC2.

The French national anthem rang out a second time in the 2018 CORSICA linea – Tour de Corse. After Sébastien Ogier’s victory in the WRC (he too was a former member of the FFSA French Rally Team 10 years ago), Jean-Baptiste Franceschi followed in the footsteps of the illustrious five-time world rally champion. The young Frenchman, part of the Federation’s squad since the beginning of the year, honoured his position as French Junior Rally title winner. In the same category but this time at world championship level Franceschi really unleashed the horses in his Ford Fiesta R2T and dominated his rivals on his first outing in the CORSICA linea – Tour de Corse!

He set 8 fastest times in 12 special stages including six on the bounce in six stages on Saturday. This result helped him to rocket up the overall classification in the Junior World Rally Championship as each fastest time earned him an additional point and he’s now second. The young French hope and his co-driver can now starting looking towards the next round, the Vodafone Rally Portugal, in a confident frame of mind.

Pierre-Louis Loubet, another member of the FFSA French Rally Team, back for the third year on the trot, had a more difficult time highlighting his evident in the CORSICA linea – Tour de Corse. The young Corsican from Porto-Vecchio racing on home turf was up against the works Skoda and Citroën drivers. He put on standout performances in his Hyundai i20 R5 before he had to when temper his ambitions due to a mechanical breakage halfway through the rally when he hit a stone and a part of the front of the car failed forcing him to throw in the sponge. He restarted on Sunday morning and held his own not far behind the works drivers.

“Pierre-Louis’ weekend has several positive aspects, but a mistake prevented him from highlighting his performance. On the other hand, he’s really quick and that’s very encouraging for the next events. Now we have to find a solution to ensure he doesn’t make any more mistakes and aim for a podium finish.
Jean-Baptiste did everything we expected of him – and more! He took the time to find his marks at the start of the rally and then upped the pace. It’s really very positive. Now we’re going to start preparing for the forthcoming rallies on gravel starting with Portugal to clinch the title at the end of the year.”
Nicolas Bernardi, FFSA national coach

“Winning here is really unbelievable as it’s a fantastic rally. We found the perfect set-up. I was very nervous this morning but I managed to cope with the last two stages, especially the 55-km one that really seemed much longer. Now, I’m going to start preparing for Portugal in May.”
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, member of the FFSA French Rally Team

“We had a few niggling problems on the car today even if the times aren’t too bad. What I want to bear in mind is my positive performance yesterday before I hit a stone. Overall, I’m a bit disappointed as I thought it was really going to all come together this year. But there’s no sense in trying to find excuses. Rather, we have to find out why I’m making mistakes so I can close the gap to the best drivers.”
Pierre-Louis Loubet, member of the FFSA French Rally Team

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi – born : 23/02/1996 – lives in Fayence (83)
2018 rally programme: WRC3 & JWRC – co-driven by Romain Courbon
Results:
– 2018: member of the FFSA French Rally Team
– 2017: French Junior rally champion

Pierre-Louis Loubet – born 18/02/1997 – lives in Porto-Vecchio (20)
2018 rally programme: WRC3 & JWRC – co-driven by Vincent Landais
Results:
– 2018: member of the FFSA French Rally Team
– 2017: member of the FFSA French Rally Team – first scratch times in WRC2
– 2016: member of the FFSA French Rally Team – Top 10 in WRC2

Created in 1998 to help the best French hopes to reach the highest level, the FFSA French Rally Team has welcomed several famous names in national and international motor sport in its ranks: Sébastien Loeb, Sébastien Ogier, Nicolas Bernardi, Éric Camilli, etc. … In 2018, the FFSA French Rally Team comprises Jean-Baptiste Franceschi and Pierre-Louis Loubet.

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