Citroen Racing Technologies press release
The Citroën DS3 WRCs prepare for their debut on tarmac
Three Citroën DS3 WRCs have been entered for the ADAC Rally Germany for Petter Solberg / Chris Patterson, Kimi Räikkönen / Kaj Lindström and Peter van Merksteijn Jr / Erwin Mombaerts with the backing of Citroën Racing Technologies. The three crews fettled in their cars in intense test sessions that left nothing to chance for this event, the first on tarmac in 2011.
The three drivers shared six days’ testing in Germany on roads in the Mosel vineyards and then in the Baumholder military camp. Almost 1200 kilometres – the equivalent of a complete rally per crew – were covered.
“After between six and eight months without racing on tarmac, it was necessary to spend at least two days finding our marks,” said Benoît Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies team manager. “Our three crews were able to test the setups decided by the works team in the heart of the vines and on the special roads in the military camp. Peter Solberg, Kimi Räikkönen and Peter Van Merksteijn Junior were very happy with the solutions and were able to fine-tune their setups. We hope that our preparation will be translated into good times in the stages.”
The Citroën DS3 WRCs took advantage of the variable weather to run on both wet and dry roads: “The situation was perfect to find our grip level in different conditions. We also worked on new tyres and their working windows. The drivers felt a bigger difference between the soft and hard rubber. Tyre choice will play a greater role than in the past. In all cases there’s no room for error.
Petter Solberg (Petter Solberg World Rally Team), currently lying fifth in the world championship, used the test to get back into the rhythm on tarmac. The Norwegian is the only driver still racing – with Sébastien Loeb – to have already won on this surface in the WRC.
Last year Kimi Räikkönen (ICE1 Racing), on his maiden outing in Rally Germany set his first quickest time in the FIA World Rally Championship. At the wheel of a Citroën WRC, the Finn topped the time sheets in the last city stage. This season the Power Stage will be Circus Maximus Trier.
Peter van Merksteijn Jr (Van Merksteijn Motorsport) is back again after giving Rally Finland a miss, but this time his co-driver will be his father’s regular, Erwin Mombaerts. During testing, Peter and Erwin made progress as they tried to fine-tune their coordination. Eddy Chevallier, who is recovering from the injuries he suffered in Greece, will be with the Van Merksteijn Motorsport team in Rally Germany.