Citroen aiming for good results at the last three rallies for 2017

Citroen aiming for good results at the last three rallies for 2017

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As it is held on two surfaces with radically different requirements, Rally de España puts greater emphasis on the versatility of the drivers and their cars. In order to prepare for this round, the Citroen team held three days of tests in Catalonia, only on gravel. Stéphane Lefebvre, Kris Meeke and Sébastien Loeb took turns behind the wheel, managing to come up with a set-up that suited all three of them. On tarmac, the team will be capitalising on the qualities of the Citroen C3 WRC.

Yves Matton“For the last three rallies of the season, our aim is to get good results, building on the podium secured in Germany”, team principal Yves Matton said.

“In Spain, the situation is quite specific, with the opening leg on gravel. Depending on what happens with the weather, our crews’ positions in the running order may be an advantage or an insurmountable handicap. If we can manage to be well placed by Friday evening, then we’ll be able to make full use of the potential of the C3 WRC on tarmac to keep fighting at the front of the field. During the tests we held, we tried out a number of set-ups. Some of them will be applied. We are continuing to work hard to meet the challenge of competing with our rivals.”

Kris MeekeThis year will mark Kris Meeke’s tenth appearance at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España

To date, the Briton has not enjoyed a great deal of success in Spain. However, he had a more positive rally in 2016, which he ended with the feeling of having found the right pace at this event.

“We had a good test session and it was interesting to work with Seb [Loeb]”, Meeke commented.

“There is always room for improvement, but I think we are moving in the right direction. I’m looking forward to being back in a competitive environment again after a frustrating Rallye Deutschland and this long break. I have to say, though, that I can’t quite believe that this is going to be my tenth appearance in Catalonia! Potentially, we have a good starting position, but that’ll depend on the level of dust or whether it rains.”

“For the last two legs, we know all about the performance level of the C3 on tarmac. The main thing is that I want to enjoy myself in the car. If I do that, then we can aim for a good result and that’d be good news for the entire team.”

After missing rounds in Finland and Germany, Stéphane Lefebvre returns to the wheel of the C3 WRC in Spain

Unlike his team-mate, the young Frenchman only has very limited experience of the event. He will be aiming to keep learning about competing among the elite of the World Rallying.

“I’m very pleased to be back behind the wheel of the C3 WRC. It has been three months since we finished fifth overall in Poland. And I’m going to have to find the right pace on stages that I am relatively unfamiliar with”, the Frenchman pointed out.

“We have to bear in mind that I am undoubtedly the least experienced driver in the field at this event. I’m pleased with how testing went last week. I had the opportunity to try the new front-to-rear wheel torque distribution for the first time. This upgrade matches my driving style really well and it was, therefore, a very positive experience. If the conditions are favourable, we’ll try to make the most of our position in the running order on day one.”

Khalid Al Qassimi will also be celebrating his tenth outing in Spain

After appearances in Portugal and Finland, the Abu Dhabi driver will be pursuing his partial programme at one of his favourite rallies.

“I’m very pleased to be back behind the wheel of the Citroen C3 WRC. It has been three months since we finished fifth overall in Poland. I’m going to have to find the right pace on stages that I am relatively unfamiliar with”, Al Qassimi said.

“We have to bear in mind that I am undoubtedly the least experienced driver in the field at this event. I’m pleased with how testing went last week. I had the opportunity to try the new front-to-rear wheel torque distribution for the first time. This upgrade matches my driving style really well and it was, therefore, a very positive experience. If the conditions are favourable, we’ll try to make the most of our position in the running order on day one.”

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