Finish the season on a high note!
Three Citroën DS3 WRCs prepared by Citroën Racing Technologies will be entered for the last round of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship. Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson (Petter Solberg World Rally Team), Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström and Peter van Merksteijn Jr and Erwin Mombaerts (Van Merksteijn Motorsport) all have the same objective in Rally Great Britain – finish in the season on a high note.
Preparation for Rally Great Britain was in two phases for the Citroën DS3 WRC drivers. This week, Kimi Räikkönen and Peter van Merksteijn Junior have spent two days on a test track in the south of France. “They each covered 150 kilometers,” says Benoît Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies director. “The stage chosen was pretty wet, ideal for an event as specific as the one awaiting us in Wales. Kimi and Peter found the DS3 WRC’s setup suited them down to the ground. They’re both full of confidence before tackling the final event of the season.”
Petter Solberg will get behind the wheel of his Citroën DS3 WRC on Sunday afternoon for a quick canter the day before reconnaissance starts.
Rally Great Britain is one of the classics on the world championship calendar, and it is also one of the most specific events with numerous grip changes and very often a lot of mud. “We know it’s one of the most complicated rallies of the season. And for the 2011 event, the new route adds additional challenges,” underlines Nogier.
The event is spread over four days and the route will bring the crews from the north to the south of Wales. The start will be given on Thursday with a leg consisting of three stages. The following days the exit from the parc fermé are fixed at 5h40, 6h00 and 4h50 respectively. “We’ll have to be in tip-top form so as not to make any mistakes. Recuperation will be of crucial importance for our crews. All the more so if the weather isn’t very good as the conditions promise to be absolutely hellish, especially at night!”
“Our aim is to finish the season on a high note,” he adds. “Petter Solberg has already achieved some mindboggling feats on this terrain. He’ll have the opportunity to end his collaboration with Citroën Racing in the best possible fashion. We all know he’s one of the great chargers. I’m sure he’ll try to be at the front; he doesn’t see things any other way.”
“Kimi Räikkönen is determined to end the season with a scintillating performance after finishing in the first six in his first six outings. He has what it takes to be in the top ten at the finish. Peter van Merskteijn Jr has made a lot of progress at the wheel of the Citroën DS3 WRC. He’s putting this experience to good use by being more and more consistent. If he manages to finish Rally Great Britain without making any mistakes, he’ll be well placed.”