Citroen starts the 2018 WRC with a new hope

Citroen starts the 2018 WRC with a new hope

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The Citroen team starts the 2018 World Rally Championship (WRC) with a new hope for success. The first challenge is the legendary Rallye Monte Carlo.

Pierre Budar, Citroеn Racing Team Principal

“The new season is upon us, which obviously means both excitement and uncertainty. After claiming second place in Germany and winning in Spain in the second part of 2017, which confirmed the growing strength of the team, I am determined to continue the work begun by Yves Matton.”

“This is especially the case since the C3 WRC has been further improved during the off-season, with intensive work put into widening its operating spectrum. Kris Meeke has the experience to fight at the front at this unique event, as he showed in 2016, whilst Craig gained a lot of confidence from last year’s appearance and is determined to use it to push for a good position. They both also know that you can’t approach this rally just like any other. You must remain composed and treat the stages with the respect they deserve to avoid getting caught out by one of the many tricky sections.”

Christophe Besse, Technical Director

“Rallye Monte Carlo is above all about the drivers and the tyres. You need a car that is easy to drive, smooth in terms of its reactions so that the driver feels confident behind the wheel regardless of the level of grip encountered. That’s what our work focused on during the tests. The stages are generally held on bumpy, uneven roads. That is why we also worked on making further improvements to the C3 WRC’s damper system.”

“We equally tried to run through a large number of potential conditions, be it ice or snow, in the rain or on tarmac that was just cold and wet. On the one hand, the idea was to try out the two new Michelin tyres. And on the other hand, it was a matter of reviewing as wider range of tyre options as possible. As the stages are grouped together in loops, you never really have the right tyres at the right time. The challenge, therefore, is knowing how much time you’ll lose with studded tyres on dry tarmac in order to opt for the best compromise.”

Kris Meeke

“Monte is probably one of the season’s hardest rallies, because of the constant changes in grip. But I’ve always really enjoyed it. I’ve also been quick here. I won the event in the Junior WRC class in 2005. Then I picked up a podium (3rd) on my full-time return to the WRC with Citroen in 2014. And I fought for the win in 2016… So I think that we can do a good job here. Especially since our off-season tests were held on roads that are fairly representative of what we’ll be facing during the rally. The test sessions also enabled us to keep improving the ability of our C3 WRC to adapt to changes in road surface, particularly by heading back to the Col de Faye, which is where we were least comfortable last year.”

Craig Breen

“Monte Carlo is a rally that I love. It’s a unique challenge, something you don’t get on any of the other events. Until 2017, however, I never felt sufficiently confident in the kind of changeable, slippery conditions you get here. But last year, with the old car, we surprised ourselves. With a bit more horsepower, we could have aimed for the podium, so that gives me confidence. I’d like to think we can do it this time around. Even though I’m not the most experienced driver in the line-up. Especially in that based on what we learned in 2017, we come into this event better prepared and with a C3 WRC that is even more versatile.”

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