MEEKE PUTS FINISHING TOUCHES TO 2017 CITROEN
Kris Meeke was back in Wales last week, finalising the specification of Citroen’s C3 WRC.
Meeke drove the car in the Cyneiniog and Myherin stages for two days before handing over to team-mates Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre.
Citroen still has development running to complete in Monte Carlo and Sweden – both of which will be completed in the next month, before pre-event set-up tests for the first two rounds of next year’s World Rally Championship.
The homologation process for Citroen’s first all-new World Rally Car in six years begins at the start of December. The car is expected to be revealed to the public in its 2017 livery just before Christmas.
For Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle, last week was an opportunity to revel in the kind of conditions they will face when they come back to the Deeside-based Rally GB in October next season.
“It’s been fantastic to run the car in GB kind of conditions,” Meeke told MN. “As you’d expect, it’s been so worthwhile. The last gravel test we did was in the south of Spain and the car worked well down there on some really loose and slippery surfaces. We had the centre differential map in that set-up for the first run in Wales thinking we wouldn’t be too far away, but the car was almost undriveable – it needed a different map and that’s what we’ve been working on.”
Last week was Citroen’s ninth test of the C3 and Meeke admitted the team is now ready to see the car in competition.
“We’ve learned so much as the year’s progressed,” he said. “We could learn more, but we’re at the point now that we need to start competing. We’re going to learn so much more once we put the numbers on the door. We’re ready now. The car’s about there and Paul and I can’t wait for Monte Carlo.
“It was a fairly strange feeling being back in Wales again so soon after Rally GB, driving down past Deeside from the airport and into these forests. But it’s a fantastic feeling to have this car on these roads.”
The C3 WRC has done nine tests Meeke has run the C3 in Wales