MATTON EYES 2017 C3 WRC STRUGGLE
GROUP RALLYING EDITOR
Citroen will face a race against time to get its C3 WRC ready for January’s Monte Carlo Rally.
As revealed in MN last week, the French firm will begin testing its all-new 2017 World Rally Car next week. While some components have been run on a DS 3 WRC previously and Citroen has data from the 36mm-restricted 1.6-litre engine aboard its C-elysee WTCC entry, this is the first time all of the parts have been run together.
If it doesn’t work immediately, team principal Yves Matton says the team could be up against it.
“Some parts could take a month [to re-engineer], but some could take six months,” he told MN. “The parts which could take the longest are in the engine, but I am confident for this – we have a good background. The data we find from WTCC is useful, but this is a completely new engine for the rally car. Everything in this car is completely new.”
The timeframe is, however, a concern for Matton.
“It can be very tight,” he said. “I will say if everything is working as we are planning it then we will be ready for Monte Carlo, but there is not much margin. But we could get it right first time and be exactly on the right pace from the start.”
One thing working in Citroen’s favour is the bank of data it has from working with World Rally Cars fitted with an active centre differential. Only M-sport has a similar depth of knowledge in competition.
Citroen’s record with new cars is impressive: the C4 WRC won on its debut in 2007 and the DS 3 WRC was up and running from its second event in 2011.