61st Critérium des Cévennes in Montpellier
Published on 29 October 2019
Bonato and Rossel win the duel in the Cevennes
Last Saturday in Montpellier, playing at loser takes all, Yoann Bonato won the 61st Critérium des Cévennes in Montpellier, but lost his French Rally Champion title, while Yohan Rossel lost the rally, but won the 2019 French Rally championship.
It was with overwhelming joy and great pride that, for the first time, Yohan Rossel, from the Gard department, won the prestigious French Rally Championship, the premier class among the many French rally competitions.
The tone was set at the press conference, under the gold of the Montpellier Opera. Despite the smiles and apparently easy-going atmosphere, everyone seemed to be preparing for a decisive match, with the main objective in the back of their mind: to win. Win the championship, win the rally.
The battle of the Cevennes was so intense, so thrilling, so respectful and so relentless that it took until Saturday evening to finally find put who was French champion…
The race started on Friday afternoon and the two teams, Bonato/Boulloud and Rossel/Fulcrand, were neck and neck until the end of the first stage. The clocks showed that the two Citroën C3 R5s had finished in a perfect tie.
It was thanks to the second stage on Saturday that Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud won the next-to-last race of the championship by a few tens of seconds, putting them on the top step of the podium. The two leaders of the Critérium des Cévennes didn’t give up anything during the race, which made their victories each even better.
We saw and experienced Yoann Bonato’s great relief for Yohan Rossel when he realised that he had achieved his ultimate goal: winning the French championship…The latter was congratulated with great sportsmanship by Yoann Bonato who had been the stronger of the two in the last races of the championship. It was a great victory for the Gard driver and his co-driver Benoit Fulcrand here in Montpellier. As they were racing on their home turf, families, close friends and competitors celebrated the title even before the conclusion of the championship, which will end with the Rallye du Var late in November.
On the sidelines of this 61st Critérium de Cévennes, the IGOL Provence team, led by Jacques Agopian invited 70 people to KARTIX under the autumn sun and an azure sky. It nearly felt like summer, but the reddening vineyards in the distance and the changing leaves brought everyone back to reality: winter is approaching and summer is ending…but what warmth!
The spectators, enjoying the thrills from the IGOL terrace, watched the navigation work done by the teams and the remarkable display of driving skill unfolding before their eyes.
After the vintage vehicles (VHC) had driven by, and before the contemporary ones, Jacques Agopian thanked the day’s guests, together with the entire IGOL Provence team, which was thrilled to host so many of its loyal customers.
Once lunch was over, it was time to prepare for the driving challenge on the go-kart track, following in the footsteps of earlier drivers. The go-karts were in position and ready. The very friendly, serious and committed competition rounded out an unforgettable day.
On Saturday evening, Canal+ hosted interviews on its set under IGOL’s lights in front of an attentive audience…A large crowd awaited the arrival of the drivers in Montpellier to celebrate Yoann Bonato’s win and IGOL presented the winning team’s trophy to him.
Yohan Rossel stood on the second step of the podium, on cloud nine, together with his loyal co-driver Benoit Fulcrand.
Last, to close out the trophy ceremony, as it always does, IGOL congratulated all of the group winners with the IGOL competition trophy.
Rendezvous at the Rallye du Var to celebrate Rossel’s French championship in style and, who knows, perhaps Bonato’s 2019 Rallye du Var victory…we’ll see you on 22 and 23 November for the last race of the season…!
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