Citroen writes off rest of WRC season to focus on 2018

Group Rallying Editor
@davidevansrally

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

Column

How important is the Mull Rally?

By David Evans

Rallying News

Henry aiming high on Ulster

Skoda Fabia R5 driver Desi Henry has targeted his first overall British Rally Championship

Racing News

Lines rejoins BTCC at Snetterton

Stewart Lines will return to the British Touring Car Championship at the next meeting of t

Rallying News

Mull sets dates for replacement rallies

The prospective dates have been revealed for the two events set to replace this year’s c

Racing News

Top Clio squad Pyro to enter TCR UK

Leading Renault UK Clio Cup squad Team Pyro is plotting a multi-car entry into the new TCR

Rallying News

Rally monsters return to Rally GB stage

Some of the world’s finest Group B, Group A and World Rally Car machinery will return to

Rallying News

WRC star Ogier conducts Red Bull F1 test

Four-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier has described his test of a Red Bull Formul

Column

Is the British GP the one F1 race that CAN'T fall over?

By Rob Ladbrook

Rallying News

Ostberg to contest Polish ERC round

World Rally Championship driver Mads Ostberg will contest the European Rally Championship'

Rallying News

FIA's new junior rallying system to support champions

FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen wants to have all of junior rallying streamlined into one

Racing News

Take That star joins SIlverstone Classic field

Howard Donald, one of the three key members of pop band Take That will make his racing deb

Rallying News

Loeb out of Silk Way Rally with wrist injury

Sebastien Loeb will not rejoin the Silk Way Rally after his heavy crash on Monday due to a

Racing News

Tickets on sale for Autosport International 2018

Public tickets are now officially on sale for Autosport International 2018 - Europe's bigg

Rallying News

Loeb crashes from lead on new Peugeot's debut

Sebastien Loeb has crashed while in a dominant position on the Silk Way Rally, the first c

Racing News

National racing stars of the weekend: Jul 15/16

Snetterton BRSCC: James Blake-Baldwin by Mark Paulson Reigning Mazda MX-5 Supercup champi

Rallying News

Pembrey's RX Circuit set for redesign

The Pembrey rallycross circuit could undergo further significant changes as early as nex

Rallying News

British champion Rooke gets Canada RX2 deal

RX2 title-contender Dan Rooke will race in the next round of the World Rallycross Champion

Rallying News

Richard Burns' godson Williams joins the WRC

British Rally Championship Cadet Class driver Tom Williams – the godson of the late Rich

Racing News

Ecurie Ecosse to be celebrated at Goodwood

An array of famous cars, including Le Mans 24 Hours winners, from the history of Ecurie Ec

Rallying News

Introduction of R5s 'saved' rallying in Ireland

The chairman of the Tarmac Rally Organisers’ Association has said the decision to make W

Racing News

Malvern hopes for more Porsche outings

British GT racer Scott Malvern is hoping that a strong performance in the next rounds of t

Rallying News

Ostberg parts company with co-driver Floene

Private Ford Fiesta WRC driver Mads Ostberg will start Rally Finland with a new co-driver

1 2 3 16

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

What’s On

X