Why Rossel is skipping the summer

He has a 23-point lead in the WRC2 standings, but Citroën's Yohan Rossel has strategically decided to miss three high-speed events

Yohan Rossel

Yohan Rossel is flying high at the moment. His 23-point lead in the WRC2 standings shows not just his quality as a driver, but the progress Citroën has made with the C3 Rally2.

But, despite everything appearing perfectly aligned for Rossel to continue his 2024 charge, the Frenchman will not participate in the trio of high-speed events on which the World Rally Championship is about to embark.

Rossel has elected not to enter Rally Poland next weekend, nor will he join the WRC on its first trip to Latvia next month. Rally Finland is also absent from his points-scoring agenda.

Yohan Rossel

Updates to the C3 have improved its gravel performance

Does this mean the Citroën driver still sees weakness in the C3 on fast gravel? No, but he does acknowledge that the recent developments made to the car have been focused on rougher roads.

“The plan was to be fast on Sardinia and Portugal,” he told DirtFish after Rally Italy Sardinia, “It’s a specific condition, like Greece, like Chile. But we don’t do too much testing for these rallies [Poland, Latvia and Finland]. It’s not at my program.”

And it appears Rossel has designed his 2024 program to very much focus on rallies that suit the C3. Wins in Monte Carlo and Croatia set the tone for what has been an impressive year so far.

He may not have got the results he was looking for in Portugal and Sardinia thanks to punctures and time penalties, but Rossel’s pace proved beyond any doubt that both he and the C3 can now match their already well-known asphalt capabilities on the loose.

Yohan Rossel

Rossel showed winning pace in Portugal and Sardinia, despite being held back by punctures

Rossel won’t be resting on his laurels over the next two months either. We may even see him in a non-points scoring run in Finland as a means of gaining further experience.

“Yeah. For sure. The plan is to do a rally in the Canary Islands for Citroën Canarias on gravel in July, and maybe Finland,” he said, “It’s just for learning. It’s my second participation, and the plan is just to, to close the gap, and the regional guys.

But, yeah, for me, the plan is to show my speed and, to be ready for the opportunity and, yes, just show the speed.”