Citroen’s new bat­tler backed by leg­end Loeb

Motor Sport News - - Launch: Citroen’s Wrc C3 - Matt James

The C3 WRC is the first rally car that Citroen has launched with­out Se­bastien Loeb since the BX 4TC.

The French­man was the first man to win in all three of Citroen’s pre­vi­ous World Rally Cars and the only driver to win in all of them. For the first time since the Paris firm’s cat­a­strophic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Group B reg­u­la­tions 31 years ago, Loeb won’t be around to give the lat­est set of chevrons its de­but.

That hasn’t stopped the nine-time cham­pion from tak­ing a pass­ing in­ter­est in the progress of his former em­ployer though.

Look­ing on from Peu­geot’s side of the PSA fence, Loeb tells Motorsport News: “It looks like they did a good job. You know they have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence of this sport and of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship. They made some good cars in the past and it looks like they have done it again.

“From what I can see they can be sat­is­fied with the car and it’s good to have Citroen once more at the top of the world cham­pi­onship.”

But what about the man most likely to take them there? what about Kris Meeke?

The Dakar-bound Al­sa­tian is equally com­pli­men­tary about his Dun­gan­non-sourced re­place­ment.

“Kris did some good races last year and for sure he has im­proved for stay­ing more on the road,” he says. “He showed again that he is very fast, but he is find­ing the way of stay­ing [to the fin­ish] with the con­sis­tency. I think he will win some ral­lies this year.”

For more than a few of the reds, em­bark­ing on world dom­i­na­tion with­out the man who dominated this world for nine years will be strange. But the hunger for suc­cess re­mains en­tirely undimmed.

When: March 26 Where: Wim­ble­don Sta­dium Web: spede­worth.co.uk There will not be a dry eye at the fi­nal meet­ing at Wim­ble­don in March.

The Grand Old Lady of short oval rac­ing has been a loyal ser­vant, and she will be clos­ing her doors for the fi­nal time after the Na­tional Hot Rod meet­ing on March 26. The sta­dium is not what it once was, with only a small sec­tion on the home straight still open for view­ing. How­ever, that keeps the crowd tightly bunched and re­ally adds to the at­mos­phere.

It is the first time in sev­eral sea­sons that the south west Lon­don track has been in­cluded on the points- pay­ing Na­tional Hot Rod cal­en­dar, and it will be the sec­ond meet­ing in the sec­ond part of the cam­paign to crown this year’s points cham­pion. The event will also count to­wards points to get a place in the cov­eted World Fi­nal.

Those facts, added to it be­ing a swan­song for the venue be­fore the op­er­a­tor Spede­worth has to clear out of the sta­dium on April 14, means that it will be a hugely pop­u­lar meet­ing for fans and for com­peti­tors alike.

The event is an all-ticket meet­ing, and passes are sell­ing out fast, so make sure you are there.

The BX 4TC needed Loeb’s in­put...

Hot Rods will rock Wim­ble­don

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