The 39th edition of the Fenouillèdes rally starts this Saturday, around Vincennes, on a revised route. The match will be Jordan Berfa’s 5th consecutive win since 2017. But there is no shortage of competitors behind him, starting with Richard and Arnaud Genesca, as well as Yannick Vivens, Yannick Vivens, who won last summer’s Vallespear Rally.
Rivals’ cars come to the sports park one by one. Very interesting scenes watched with interest by young people who came from Perpignan to do sports. The symbol of the Perpignan Roussillon Fenouillèdes rally, whose 39th edition starts this Saturday and will end on Sunday evening, with a podium installed in a closed park, where the vehicles were placed on Friday.
After being disrupted by Covid for three years and canceled in 2020, the meeting aims to return this year. Only the economic situation and, for many crews, the difficulties of tying the budget with a significant racing program prompted some crews to opt out. While he usually has around 120 entries, this time the competition will only have 74. The fact that the date of the event was a week earlier than its usual schedule, on the third weekend of November and close to the Cévennes rally two weeks earlier, did not play a role more in favor of the organizers. “Even if there are only a few registrants, we have a large field. Marie Ottavi, the coordinator of the rally, regrets. The Critérium des Cévènes had abandoned sites and could not repair them all.
The evolution of the specials
A tight field that won’t stop the favorites from fighting for victory, especially Jordan Berfa, who brought out his Hyundai I20 for this event, which he won in 2017 and 2019, is currently looking for his fifth victory. If he succeeds, he will be on a slightly modified track this year.
The stages are grouped around Vinca. Here again the decision was made, in this year when it is difficult to balance crew budgets, reduce costs and travel. Thus, these changes allow to have less communication sector and, above all, the closed park in Vincha on Saturday evenings allows to avoid returning to Perpignan and thus to reduce the number of cars on the open roads. On Saturday evening, three stages at night will be a real test for the drivers who must not make mistakes.
Richard and Arnaud Genesca in the fight for victory
On the side of the favourites, we will find the inexhaustible Richard Genesca, the six-time winner of the event, still on the podium of the last two editions, alongside Jordan Berfa, who entered this year with Jordan Augustin in a Hyundai. Salanquais is still busy with the Skoda Fabia. His son Arnaud will be in the same car. If the latter missed the 2021 release, there are good reasons for that. His son was born a few days ago, so he had other priorities. 2014 winner Yannick Vivens should also have his say in DS3. He has already shone in the Pyrénées-Orientales this year, having won the Vallespir Rally last July. Perhaps we will also have to rely on Gilles Roca (Skoda Fabia) to take revenge: in Vallespear he left in the last special race in the title fight…
At Fenouillèdes, he will try to win the League title, the result of which will be decided this weekend. Four drivers are fighting for this title. Yann Liauard (208) is currently in the top spot. He is ahead of Patrick Mila (Saxo), Yannick Vivens and Serge Dufour (BMW 318). But overall, Vivens, who plays to win, is definitely the most dangerous, with his car, on paper, more efficient.
We will meet at the sports park on Sunday evening for the judgment of this competition, which is not full in terms of registration.
Jordan Berfa: ‘It would be perfect to finish here successfully’
Is the goal of this year absolutely to win?
Yes winner. It is a very nice rally that we return with great pleasure every year. But it is certain that the goal here is to win. For us, it is almost mandatory. We’ve had a great season and it would be perfect to finish here with success.
Do you like coming back here every year?
Yes, there are many beautiful roads that we enjoy driving every year.
The stages have changed a bit. Could you see them?
It’s good to change things up a bit. We have been coming here for five years and it was almost the same route. This year they turned the evidence upside down, not bad.
You return with the Hyundai you won in 2017 and 2019. Why this change?
We sold last year’s Polo and the Megane Kit Car (the car he won in 2018) is too expensive to run. Hyundai was the right choice for this year and we will see what we do for next year.