A masterstroke for the Citroen DS3 R3
The Citroen DS3 R3 showed itself off to the best of its abilities this weekend, at the 27th Rallye des Cardabelles. Citroen's new baby shone once more by winning the two-wheel drive category and finishing in the top 10 overall on its first gravel rally.
Thanks to this latest victory, the DS3 R3 has claimed a hat trick of wins, confirming its potential and ability to adapt to all sorts of different terrains and conditions. At Millau, the crews had to face a varied profile of stages, which changed in character as time went on; particularly as the weather conditions were never constant. Day two above all proved to be a huge challenge in terms of weather.
On Saturday the crews were straight into the serious stuff with 20 kilometres of the famous Camp stage, run over the Larzac plateau, which is well-known for being extremely gravelly and tricky. The DS3 R3, crewed by Marc Amourette and Gwenola Marie, had as its key aim to jump into the deep end of gravel competition. While the Frenchman suffered from the notorious road-sweeping effect he was nonetheless straight into the lead group and secured second place in class at the end of the opening loop of stages. The DS3 R3 took the lead of the two-wheel drive category during the second loop of stages, stringing together a series of fastest times, to the disappointment of its rivals but the delight of Marc Amourette, who felt increasingly confident behind the wheel.
The following day, competitors drove around Severac le Château for two 15-kilometre stages. Once more, the Citroen dominated its class and moved up two more places in the overall classification before setting another fastest time in Vezin 2 and crossing the finish line in heavy rain with another Group R victory under its belt.
Marc Amourette commented : "This is a fantastic win! It has enabled us to claim the two-wheel drive honours and to seal the provisional runner-up spot in the French Championship. The Citroen DS3 R3 has been reliable, competitive and efficient from start to finish. It's also an enormous pleasure to drive. This first participation on gravel has also allowed us to work on the car and refine the set- up. My only regret is that the rally is already over!" Jean-Francois Lienere, in charge of Citroen Racing's customer competition department, added: "With this third consecutive success, the Citroen DS3 R3 has proved that it as reliable and fast on gravel as it is on asphalt. It has made yet another step forward and Marc's experience has been of huge benefit to the progress of this car on a new surface. The objective has clearly been achieved as we finish ninth overall."
There is no rest for the Citroen DS3 R3 as it will next appear on the popular Criterium des Cevennes from October 22-23, in the hands of the multi-talented Stephane Sarrazin.