Citroen WRT press release
The Citroën DS3 WRC faces its first test on tarmac
For the first time in the history of the World Rally Championship, Citroën has achieved the feat of winning seven events on the trot. The Citroën DS3 WRC, unbeaten on gravel, now faces a new challenge on tarmac in Germany. Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, who have never lost in Trier, start the ninth round as favourites. In their wake, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia will also be out to maintain Citroën Racing’s supremacy!
After starting the 2011 season on snow followed by a series of seven victories on gravel, the Citroën DS3 WRCs will make their competition debut on tarmac in the ‘Rallye Deutschland’.
Since the German event has become part of the Rally World Championship in 2002, Citroën, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena have never been beaten and have run up a string of eight victories.
By winning the last seven rallies, Citroën has pulled out a lead of 65 points in the Manufacturers’ World Championship classification. Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who emerged victorious in Rally Finland at the end of July, lead the Drivers/Co-drivers rankings by 27 points. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are currently lying third, 31 points behind their team-mates.
“Some tarmac at last,” smiles Sébastien Loeb dominant on this surface for more than five years. “I know that everybody will be gunning for me in Germany. We’ve never been beaten on these roads but the series will come to an end one day. It’s up to us to make sure it doesn’t!”
“None of the sectors is alike”, continues the driver from Alsace. “There are three very distinct parts with the military camp, the vines and the country roads. Generally speaking, the stages are very quick and demanding. We’re up against a real challenge. It’s vital to have good notes and to be in perfect osmosis with your co-driver to win.“
Sébastien Ogier has less experience than his team-mate and will start only his third Rally Germany, his second at the wheel of a WRC. “It’s an atypical rally with a lot of differences from one stage to the next,” underlines the Frenchman. “I like certain sections more than others. Although I was on the podium last year, I wasn’t able to match the pace of the winners. This year, we’re determined to show that we’ve improved.”
During testing the former Junior World Championship was able to get a feel for the handling of his Citroën DS3 WRC: “The car felt good but racing and testing are two very different things. A priori, our rivals should be better armed than in previous seasons. We have to score more points than the current leader even if we know that he has racked up a remarkable string of results in Germany! In any case, it’s not going to be an easy rally.”
The Citroën Total World Rally Team could also set another record in the ADAC Rally Germany. Another win would make Citroën the manufacturer with the highest number of victories in the World Championship (77 before this event).