MAT­TON EYES 2017 C3 WRC STRUG­GLE

GROUP RAL­LY­ING EDI­TOR

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Cir­cuit of Kerry, p31 Photos: mck­lein-im­age­database.com, Roy Demp­ster

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.

Citroen can’t af­ford set­backs

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