CITROEN ROLLS OUT ’17 C3 FOR ASPHALT TESTS
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.
Meeke ran new Citroen on asphalt