PEUGEOT 208 R2, competed the second round of 2016 Japan Rally Championship "Kuma-Kogen Rally supported by Sammy", had regrettably withdrawn from the event after leading the class. The 208 R2 is purpose built for rally competition based PEUGEOT 208, which Peugeot Japon distributes to the country. Meanwhile another 208 GTi made impressive result with finishing in 2nd in the class.
The event was taken place from 30th April to 1st May, based on town of Kuma-Kogen, Ehime prefecture in the Shikoku (the smallest of the four main islands of Japan). Rally Plus Cusco Racing Rally Team's driver, Hiroshi Yanagisawa entered JN5 class with FIA R2 regulated 208 R2 and was fighting for the class top with running 2nd in early part of the rally. On the second day of the competition, retirement of the class leader on SS9 resulted Hiroshi Yanagisawa to move to the top position. He showed steady performance to maintain his lead. However, on the final SS13, his hope of class victory was disappeared when he faced machine trouble at 4km from the start, and made tough decision to stop his rally. Meanwhile, Shuhei Muta in Peugeot 208 GTi was driving all stages smoothly and finished in 2nd in JN5 class.
After successful debut at the opening round in Karatsu, I was able to feel competitive feeling with PEUGEOT 208 R2 during this rally. Especially from middle part of the rally, I really enjoyed the driving and even was able to lead the rally. However, as the air temperature was pretty high, I think the condition was quite tough for the machine. On the final stage, as some trouble happened with the machine, I had stop the rally. It's really shame to having such a conclusion, however, we were leading the rally first time with the machine, and I think we showed high potential of 208 R2 on tarmac stages.
JN5 / 1st: S.OKURA / K.TOYOTA (TOYOTA Vitz GRMN Turbo) 2:20:40.2
JN5 / 2nd: S.MUTA / N.KASE (PEUGEOT 208 GTi) +1:02:30.1
JN5 / 3rd: I.OHASHI / W.FUJIGAMI (MINI John Cooper Works) +1:03:04.0
JN5 / R H.YANAGISAWA / H.NAKAHARA (PEUGEOT 208 R2) －
JN5 / 1st: S.OKURA / K.TOYOTA (TOYOTA Vitz GRMN Turbo) 46.0 points
JN5 / 2st: S.MUTA / N.KASE (PEUGEOT 208 GTi) 38.5 points
JN5 / 3st: I.OHASHI / W.FUJIGAMI (MINI John Cooper Works) 27.0 points
JN5 / 4th: S.SHINKAI / Y.ANDO (ABARTH 500 R3T) 23.0 points
JN5 / 5th: H.YANAGISAWA / H.NAKAHARA (PEUGEOT 208 R2) 22.0 points