CITROEN ROLLS OUT ’17 C3 FOR AS­PHALT TESTS

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Citroen has be­gun test­ing its C3 WRC on as­phalt with works-driver Kris Meeke con­duct­ing the early run­ning.

The French firm be­gan Tar­mac test­ing last week with a sec­ond test chas­sis. Meeke ran the car for three days in Fon­tjon­couse be­fore hand­ing over to Stephane Le­feb­vre for a sin­gle day.

Citroen Rac­ing tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Lau­rent Fregosi told MN the ini­tial as­phalt run­ning had all gone to plan – with the fo­cus shift­ing to in­di­vid­ual ar­eas of the car.

“Even if we had an idea after the gravel test­ing ses­sions we did since April, we were ea­ger to see the 2017 cock­tail on Tar­mac,” Fregosi said.“you can re­ally feel the power and the trac­tion ef­fi­ciency at the exit of the corners. Ob­vi­ously, we over­saw the spe­cific parts of the Tar­mac ver­sion: sus­pen­sions, brakes, gear­box ra­tios dur­ing the test. On the bumpy roads we used, Kris started to play with set­tings in the car, things like the springs, the stiff­ness, anti-roll bars.

“From our side, we worked par­tic­u­larly on cen­tre dif­fer­en­tial map­ping. We didn’t fo­cus on aero­dy­nam­ics. It’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to do back-to­back tests on a rally road, so we will rely on the wind tun­nel and CFD re­sults for this.”

Meeke ad­mit­ted that al­though any marker of the car’s pace would have to wait un­til next year, the early signs are pos­i­tive.

“It went very well,” he said. “It’s a work in progress at the mo­ment and we won’t know ex­actly how im­pres­sive it is un­til we get to Monte Carlo, but the sen­sa­tions from the car were very good. The ini­tial feel­ing is strong and there’s no ques­tion it’ll be quicker [on as­phalt] than this year’s cars.”

Asked if he agreed with the con­sen­sus that the 2017 cars might have too much grip, mak­ing them a lit­tle dull to watch, Meeke replied: “It cer­tainly didn’t feel bor­ing from where I was sit­ting!”

Meeke re­turned to a test car on Sun­day, but this time it was the DS 3 WRC in Fin­land. Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qas­simi shared the test on Mon­day.

Citroen’s next 2017 test will be back on gravel next month.

Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­database.com, FIA ERC

Meeke ran new Citroen on as­phalt

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