Sixteenth at the finish line after having restarted on Saturday morning after leaving the road, the French challenger showed his potential in streaks, signing twice in the top 4 scratch marks. At the end of this Monte Carlo, Pierre-Louis spoke about this event with us for a meeting that will be at the end of each round of the WRC.
What is your quick assessment of this ordeal?
“Obviously there are positive things to remember, especially on such a tough rally. It was very difficult on Friday morning. We were setting times very close to R5 with our starting position, and we couldn’t really take advantage of the WRC. Then we show beautiful things.
I particularly remember the fourth time on the first pass of the Power Stage. In the second lap, he was really aiming for points with maybe a third or fourth time possible. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake at 15 km / h, I was upset. The intermediaries afterwards were good, it’s a shame, we were clearly able to score points. On the previous special, he had put the tires away to have every chance of success.
Aside from the 2nd and 4th times, I also remember the intermediaries from stage 2. I’m still in the lead in KM12 with a staggered tire choice and although I lost everything in the final intermediates, I think the tire choice was not it was so bad. For a first Monte Carlo, we had made a safe decision. “
You have just started your sixth year in rallying and yet you have never raced in Monte Carlo before, why?
“I was never able to commit to him because it was always difficult to find a budget and establish a schedule at the beginning of the year. I came close to driving a Balbosca R5 once but to no avail in the end. “
What do we think of Pirelli tires?
“I cannot compare with Michelin tires with identical compounds, so I cannot tell you. But no problem for me, especially since I didn’t have a flat tire. “
Let’s go back to your abandonment from Friday night. Is this your biggest disappointment of the weekend?
“On the brakes, I wrote something wrong, forgetting about a ‘black plate’ on the brake. My biggest disappointment isn’t this, it’s really this Power Stage where I had the potential to do something. It was great to play with them at times, I would have signed right away before leaving for that weekend. “
How was your work (Vincent and you) with the pioneers?
“It was the first time I had starters. I take this opportunity to thank Laurent Poggi and Florian Haut-Labourdette who have done a great job during the week. We did great things with them. There we also had to discover and learn new things, and we managed to gain momentum throughout the days.
In addition to the forerunners, I necessarily want to thank my 2C Competition team who did an amazing job repairing the car on Friday night after my mistake. “
A Monte Carlo, especially this one, often involves “brutal” awakenings. It was obviously something new for you.
“The awakenings at 3.30 am and 3.50 am hurt, it was horrible! But nothing special to go in the morning, a little coffee, good food and on the way to the stages. I work with 321 Perform for my physical preparation and I had no doubts about being on stage the morning of the stages. “
What did you think of your car after all?
“I honestly have a great car. We are more efficient than on the ground by the time we were sometimes quite far away. The asphalt car has great potential. I had two excellent days in testing, trying many things that helped us during the week, it was perfect. “
You are one of the few WRC participants who has raced in the Arctic Rally in the past, and even twice. What is your opinion on this event?
“I have wonderful memories of the Arctic Rally, especially my participation with the Subaru R4 because with the DS3 R5 I had only had mechanical problems so I could not really drive to the maximum. It was really a crazy experience with a ride quite comparable to dirt but with more grip. I’m going to have a test day to find out all this. I hope I’m not too far away, and I think this is a field that suits me. “