Citroen writes off rest of WRC season to focus on 2018

Group Rallying Editor

Citroen has written-off the rest of this year’s World Rally Championship season and is now focused on returning to the front in 2018.

The French firm has endured a shocking debut season with the C3 WRC, despite stepping back from the 2016 WRC to work on development of the new car.

Ahead of the season, Citroen was expected to dominate, but the Parisians still languish at the foot of the manufacturers’ table after a nightmare run of results. 

Team principal Yves Matton told Motorsport News that his squad is now directing its efforts for the remainder of this season towards a new start in 2018.

“The idea now is to work toward a middle and long-term view,” Matton said. “We are working towards 2018 when we want to find back the pace.

“We cannot say we don’t have the pace, we have the pace in some conditions – but in rallying it’s not enough to have the pace in some places. We are working to have the pace from a car in every condition.”

Citroen team boss Matton says focus has switched to 2018

Matton was quick to add that he wasn’t writing off Citroen’s chances of winning more rallies – after Kris Meeke’s Rally Mexico victory early in the year – but he added that the emphasis had changed in every aspect of the programme.

He said: “When we are testing now we are working more in development than in testing for the set-up for a specific rally.

“This doesn’t mean we cannot fight for the victory in a rally, but we have changed the approach more than a little bit.”

At the last event in Poland, Andreas Mikkelsen ran the team’s lead car with a different technical specification to the other two factory C3 WRCs with homologation changes made to the Norwegian driver’s Citroen.

“We never did this before, running cars in different specifications,” said Matton. “But we learned a lot in Poland.

“I took the decision after [Rally Italy in] Sardinia that we would homologate the new torque split. The work with the suspension is not so straightforward.

“With the torque split you change the part and it’s working or it’s not working. With the suspension, you cannot take the shock absorber from the shelf and expect it to be perfect.”

Mikkelsen is confident the car has moved on with the homologation changes he tried.

“We did a lot of changes to the car before Poland and the team is very happy about this,” he said.

“We worked on the differential to try to stop the rear sliding so much and this is good.

“We did a lot in those two days, but it takes time – you know you don’t build a new damper in a day. There is more to come, especially in the suspension.”

Recent news


Are British championship calendars boring?

By Rob Ladbrook

Rallying News

Sainz Dakar quad incident penalty overturned

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz has had his 10-minute penalty rescinded, after Peugeot presented...

Rallying News

WRC and Autosport Show working on 2018 public launch

The World Rally Championship launch could be moved to a public day of Autosport International...

Rallying News

Tanak says Ogier bias led to his M-Sport exit

Estonian star Ott Tanak says that being the number two driver to Sebastien Ogier at M-Sport...

Rallying News

Peterhansel wins stage, back to second overall

Peugeot's Stephane Peterhansel topped the 10th stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally, overhauling Toyota...

Rallying News

Ostberg still has Fiesta as back-up plan

Mads Ostberg could keep his private Ford Fiesta World Rally Car as a "back-up plan" if he cannot...

Racing News

Leading BWRDC figure Georgie Shaw dies

Georgie Shaw, one of the leading forces in the British Women Racing Drivers Club, died on Sunday...


Rally Isle of Man is heading in the right direction

By Jack Benyon

Rallying News

Rider in Sainz incident threatens legal action

The quad rider involved in Carlos Sainz's Dakar Rally controversy has threatened criminal action...

Racing News

Kubica misses Williams F1 drive, lands testing role

Robert Kubica has lost out on a Williams Formula 1 drive this year to Russian Sergey Sirotkin,...

Rallying News

Tanak: Toyota 'best option' for WRC title shot

Ott Tanak says moving from M-Sport Ford to Toyota for the 2018 World Rally Championship was...

Rallying News

Dakar leader Sainz gets 10-minute penalty

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz has been penalised for an alleged collision with quad racer...

Rallying News

Dakar leader Sainz under investigation

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz is facing an investigation after a rider accused the Peugeot...

Racing News to host entire Le Mans archive is uploading the entire back catalogue of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to its exclusive...

Rallying News

Citroen WRC boss appointed FIA rally director

Former Citroen Racing World Rally Championship team principal Yves Matton has been confirmed...

Rallying News

Edwards gets factory M-Sport deal for BRC

British Rally Championship frontrunner Matt Edwards will return to the championship in 2018...

Racing News

Birmingham race evaluated by Formula E

Formula E has evaluated taking racing back to the streets of Birmingham for the first time since...

Rallying News

Peterhansel explains crash that cost him lead

Peugeot's Stephane Peterhansel was left "p**sed off" after the accident that took him out of...

Rallying News

Mikkelsen: Hyundai i20 reminds me of VW Polo

Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Andreas Mikkelsen says the manufacturer's i20 reminds...

Rallying News

M-Sport adds Suninen to 2018 WRC line-up

M-Sport has announced that Teemu Suninen will drive its third Ford Fiesta for the majority of...

Racing News

Autosport Show Highlights: Friday

Our team of national reporters pick their highlights from day two of the Autosport International...

Racing News

Button to race Jaguar XJR-9 at Le Mans classic

One-time Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will drive a 1988 Jaguar XJR-9 prototype in...

1 2 3 40

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

This weekend

No Events


No Events

This weekend

No Events


No Events