2C interested in running a Rally1 car in WRC

The French privateer outfit is keen to return to the WRC, and shares its side of the story on the 2020-21 struggles


Victory on the Rallye du Var means something. A month and a bit out from the Monte Carlo Rally and roughly in the same area, Sainte-Maxime in late November is usually a great place to see who’s where for the World Rally Championship’s season opener.

Following in the footsteps of such Monte heroes as Sébastien Loeb, Bernard Darniche and François Delecour, the most recent Var winner Nicolas Ciamin will be hoping his second successive victory in Sainte-Maxime will mean something when the WRC arrives on the far side of the holiday season.

The 24-year-old’s not the only one who would like a November win to be a precursor to that Hyundai i20 N Rally2 starting up the coast in Casino Square next month.

That would make Florent Peronnet smile as well.

N.Ciamin Y.Roche I20N Rally2 Var '22-56

Peronnet is team manager of 2C Compétition, one of France’s highest profile and most recently successful privateer rally teams.

Remember when Oliver Solberg was fighting with Sébastien Ogier at the 2021 Arctic Rally Finland? He was doing that in an i20 Coupe WRC run by 2C. And the Swede’s fifth place at the season-ending Monza Rally? Also courtesy of Peronnet’s crew.

So what happened to 2C? The Hoonigans came calling. Stepping outside of the WRC for this year, the American Rally Association and Ken Block’s sensational season became the focal point of Peronnet’s labors.

Having enjoyed a taste of rallying Stateside, 2C is very keen to further its ambitions in the United States, but it’s also keen to continue building what’s an impressive WRC resume with Hyundai Motorsport.


“There’s no doubt,” Peronnet told DirtFish. “It’s clear in my mind that I want to come back to the WRC. I’m doing my best and I’m working towards it. The WRC is a nice series to work in.

“Can we come back with the Rally1 car? I would love to. This is not in my hands. It’s in my dreams, but not in my hands. Right now I think it’s still maybe a little bit complicated for the private team to run the hybrid car, but it’s something we would definitely be working towards.

“For me there is some unfinished business with WRC. I love what we do with Hoonigan in ARA and I definitely love American rallying and want to continue over there, but it would be nice to run in WRC as well.”

“We knew what we would be getting in 2021, we knew the specification of the car we would take for Pierre-Louis. From the start, everything was square and clear about that Florent Peronnet on the difficult 2021 season

Much as Solberg’s success played to the strengths of 2C, Pierre Louis-Loubet’s success aboard a Ford Puma Rally1 this season has raised questions about the 2C-run Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC he was using in 2020 and 2021.

While careful not to throw 2C under the bus, Loubet has been vocal at times in his comparison of the comfort level from last year to this. The Corsican star’s reflection on his time in a Hyundai hasn’t always provided the easiest of reading for Peronnet.

Florent smiles a rueful smile. It’s not the first time he’s been asked the question.

“We knew what we would be getting in 2021,” he said. “Everybody knew. We knew the specification of the car we would take for Pierre-Louis.


“From the start, everything was square and clear about that. For me, it was a more difficult season in terms of feeling in the car. We worked a lot on testing and setup with the different areas on the car and Pierre never had the best feeling [with the car].

“We pushed as much as we could and we got some upgrades, but some of the upgrades would only come with the results and we didn’t get those results. But ultimately, we would never get the factory specification. For me, there is no way in the world any private driver will come with the same car as the factory team. They would never give the last spec of the car, this is logical in this level of motorsport.

“We always worked well with Pierre-Louis, we won WRC2 with him in 2019 and the relationship was good – we did a lot to help him. And we could see some times he was fast with the car, I remember a second fastest time in Monte Carlo [in 2021] and some other really good times, but there were also some mistakes. I’m very respectful of what he achieved in 2022

“From our side we did what we were able to do. I have no regrets about that. For Pierre-Louis’ side, I don’t know what was discussed between him and [Hyundai]. For sure, he was a junior driver with Hyundai, but I don’t know what their deal was. What I do know is that we are a private team with 20 people and it’s just not possible to fight with a factory team of 200 people.

“Our other customers, they have always been happy. Oliver [Solberg, who drove a 2C private car in Kenya and Spain and the factory test car in Finland and Kenya], he was happy. We are always trying to be better, to make our performance stronger as a team – it’s what we strive for. And that’s why we’re looking to come back to the WRC.

“Next year? Maybe.”

Ciamin’s Var win is a good place to start.

Words:David Evans