Posts in Rallye

  20 avril 2011

Simon back racing for the fun of it!

Two-and-a-half years after being forced to interrupt his professional career, Simon Jean-Joseph is getting ready to make his comeback to rallying. Still with Jack Boyère as co-driver, the man from Martinique has entered for the Auxerre Gravel Rally (30th April-1st May) in Petter Solberg Engineering team’s Citroën Xasra. Their aim is to enjoy themselves to the full and give the crowd their money’s worth!

Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyère are tackling their first rally since 2008 with the aim of doing well, but without any pressure. And of course, it will give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves with their friends, as well as the pleasures of driving a mythic car and reliving sensations that have thrilled them for over 20 years.

“Since my accident in water skiing in the summer of 2008, I gave up my professional career,” says Simon Jean-Joseph. “In addition to the tests that I do for the Automoto programme on TF1, I’ve launched a small coaching and Management Company linked to motor sport. This has helped me to remain in touch with the milieu by working with drivers, teams and organizers. Since last year, I’ve been collaborating with Petter Solberg, whether as crew driver on asphalt rallies or in various projects including the development of his team, Petter Solberg Enginering. When the idea of driving one of his cars came up in a discussion, I didn’t take long to jump at the chance!”

On the stages in the Auxerois region, Jean-Joseph will be back with his faithful co-driver Jack Boyère whose enthusiasm is as strong as ever: “Two-and-a-half years without being in a racing car is too long when the passion’s still burning. We won’t be there aiming for a result, but we want to do as well as possible and relive the thrills that we’ve missed since we stopped. What’s more, we’re back in Petter Solberg’s team with a mythic car that’s won several world championship titles. It’s fantastic! It’s an exciting challenge but we’re tackling it with humility.”

Petter Solberg Engineering has a stable of rally cars and the equipment to run them, and it is opening up new perspectives. In the Auxerre Gravel Rally, Jean-Joseph will be the ambassador of the Franco-Norwegian team. “This rally is a good way to showcase the know-how of a team that’s been in the WRC since 2009. The team’s equipment and skills are at the disposal of other clients in both national and international championships.”

The rally based in Auxerre will be run in two legs on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May. As always in the French Gravel Rally Championship, the route is secret and will only be revealed on the morning itself, and the drivers only have one reconnaissance run. Simon and Jack have won the event twice: in 2000 in a Group A Subaru Impreza and in 2003 in a Renault Clio Super-1600.