Played in the sun near Rodez, Rally Rouergue was up to its reputation. From the first stage, Mathieu Arzeno lost all chances to do well overall. After 15km, the front left tire of his DS3 R3 exploded, forcing its driver to stop and change. "It’s unbelievable, I really didnt hit anything. I felt a vibration in a straight section. Then, the phenomenon has diminished until the tire literally exploded. The tire will be analyzed in Italy because nobody has an explanation. Anyway, for me, victory is gone! " Restarting now with the objective to show his speed, Mathieu would sign the last 3 best times of the day, with even a second fastest time overall in the last night stage. "I am even more disappointed when I see that I did all the best times. My DS3 R3 works very well and I can do what I want with the car. Tomorrow I will drive with the same goal: to show that I had to win here! "
And on Saturday morning, he kept his promise. Signing 3 of the 6 fastest times possible, Mathieu set a great stage time in the famous Moyrazès stage, of more than 30 km long. He took again the best of all his rivals, pushing them 12 seconds behind. And it was again on the second run of the long stage that Mathieu signed a third fastest time ahead of his teammate Cedric Robert. "I really enjoy driving this DS3 prepared by Saint Eloc. I pushed hard in the first loop. With my lack of experience on this rally, my pace notes were sometimes a bit optimistic but I have not made one single mistake from the beginning of the rally. In the final loop, my tires were "tired" so I slowed down a little bit. A lot of people came to congratulate me for my times, but it was a win I needed. I have nothing to gain tomorrow as the others drivers are too far in front of me. So I’m going to enjoy myself as from the beginning. "
The Sunday were like the other two : a real show of performance. And as like he wanted to prove his supremacy, Mathieu signed all the best times of the last day, leaving only crumbs to the rest. When passing the finish podium, Mathieu had the sense of accomplishment. "With my codriver, Renaud, we do everything to get to prove our abilities, not hesitating to review our onboard camera images taken during the recce when back at the hotel. I am fighting against drivers with a lot of experience. In the beginning of the season, I was told that if I held the pace of Cedric Robert , that I had a good level. Here, I proved that I could be in front, without any mistakes. If I calculate well, without this puncture in the first stage, we would have finished in fifth place overall, with almost 1 minute ahead of the next driver in two-wheel drive! I had the speed, but I proved here that I also had the consistency. I hope other people will realize this and give me a chance in the future! " Appointment is made for the next round of the French Rally Championship in Morzine for the Rallye du Mont Blanc in early September. Enclosed you will find a summary table of the Stages times, and the best performers of the weekend in R3.