SUCCESS OUT OF THE BOX FOR THE 208! Following its homologation on October 1, the 208 R2 made its maiden competitive outing this weekend on the Rallye Sanremo, round 12 round of the 2012 IRC. Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri kicked off the ewcomer’s record with a flag-to-flag R2 class win.
Competitive and reliable
After outings in the course of the year as ‘zero’ car on the Tour de Corse (asphalt, France), the Ulster Rally (asphalt, Ireland) and the Polski Rallye (gravel, Poland), the first competition derivative of the 208 continued its mini European tour with an official participation on Italy’s notoriously treacherous and selective Rallye Sanremo. The event saw the new hot hatch come through its first competitive test with flying colours thanks to some outstanding stage times, including a second-fastest time in Group R on SS1!
The newcomer dominated the R2 class from start to finish without any technical issues to provide eloquent evidence of its reliability as order books open. The 208R2 completed the rally with a cushion of 1m36s over its closest chaser.
“I was fortunate enough to drive the 208R2 on gravel in Poland and now I have driven it on asphalt here in Sanremo,” notes Bryan Bouffier
. “In both cases, I drove it for the first time on the shakedown stage, and I immediately felt comfortable with the car. It is already well sorted and easy to drive, which is obviously great for confidence. I would say its biggest strength is the overall balance of its chassis and suspension. Its brakes are very good, too; the famous 44km ‘Ronde’ stage was a good litmus test of how efficient and durable they are. The engine is strong, as well, and we posted some quick stage times, so that is very promising given that the version which will go on sale will feature further improvements.”
Bryan Bouffier and Xavier Panseri will be back in the 208R2 for France’s Rallye du Var at the end of November.
Next on the programme…
As the 208 R2’s development programme continues, the car is scheduled to contest Belgium’s Rallye du Condroz as ‘zero’ car on November 3-4, before an official entry on the highly competitive Rallye du Var, France (November 23-25).
“We are delighted with the 208 R2’s maiden result,” says Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin. “The car was competitive, reliable and consistent in Sanremo from start to finish. It also received a warm welcome in Italy and appears to interest a high number of talented young drivers who dream of becoming the next Paolo Andreucci!”
The gravel and asphalt versions of the 208 R2 will both be available in kit form (specific 208 R2 parts) for a price of €37.500 (net). This price includes a fully-built engine. It will also be possible to acquire the 208 R2 in fully built form (gravel or asphalt version) for €57.500 (net). Two kits will be available to convert the asphalt version of the car to gravel trim, or the gravel version of the car to asphalt trim.