Bottas wins rally event at Paul Ricard
Valtteri Bottas has ended 2019 on winning note, claiming a comfortable victory at the Rallycircuit Cote d'Azur rally, run at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
Bottas won the 123.36km rally – run on a mixture of the Paul Ricard track and the circuit’s access roads – behind the wheel of an ex-factory Citroen DS3 WRC, having appeared in Paris the night before the start of the event to collect his trophy at the FIA Prize-Giving for finishing second to Lewis Hamilton in the 2019 drivers’ championship.
Bottas ended up winning the rally by a handsome margin of 50 seconds from Frenchman Roberto Consani – admittedly driving a lower-spec Skoda Fabia R5 – with Bottas’ results helped by two runnings of the Grand Prix 7 Tours stage, essentially seven laps of a smaller configuration of the Paul Ricard track, where the Finn was able to deploy his circuit racing expertise.
“It’s my first ever win in rally, so it feels good," said Bottas. "I had lots of fun in this rally. Normally when you had fun, you are pretty quick as well so it works.
"It’s a very nice event, very nice concept, beautiful stages, challenges and good fun, pretty well organized. For sure we’ll come back.”
Among the other competitors at the rally was 2019 F2 runner Dorian Boccolacci in another Skoda Fabia R5, who ended up classified fifth after a time penalty, while former Citroen factory World Rally Championship driver Stephane Lefebvre tackled the event in a Porsche 911 GT3.
It was Bottas’ second rally outing, meanwhile, with the Finn having finished fifth overall and claimed a stage win at the 2019 Arctic Lapland Rally back in January, driving a Ford Fiesta WRC.
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