THE C3 R5 AIMS TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING | Media Citroen Racing

THE C3 R5 AIMS TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING

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Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:00
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The C3 R5 switches from the Corsican tarmac – on which it made an impressive debut in April – to the Portuguese gravel, as Citroën Racing's new flagship product takes on a different challenge, but the target remains unchanged: Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau will be looking to show that the car also has the potential to become the category's new benchmark on this surface.



Since modern rally cars must be fast both on tarmac and on gravel, manufacturers are now faced with a two-pronged challenge these days. After a promising debut on tarmac at the Tour de Corse, where it claimed two stage wins and finished as runner-up in the WRC2, the Citroën C3 R5 is now preparing for its maiden outing on gravel – the surface on which most of the world rally championship is contested – at next week's Rally de Portugal. Unsurprisingly, the target is to enjoy the same success on gravel. This is all the more true since in the meantime, Citroën's new flagship model claimed its first overall victory at the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières, as part of the French Rally Championship. The only car in its category to be fitted with a specific front axle geometry for each surface, the Citroën C3 R5 has not compromised on performance at all. Once again, it will be up to Stéphane Lefebvre – Citroën Racing works driver – to demonstrate the car's qualities in a country and at an event that he really loves, on his second appearance of the season in the WRC2. Indeed, it was in Portugal, when the event was contested in the Algarve, that the talented 26 year-old Frenchman secured his first win in the Junior WRC in 2014. After the event moved to its base around Porto in 2015, Stéphane also fought hard for sixth place in 2016 before having to retire, on what was one of his first gravel rallies in a WRC. With the stages unchanged from last year, Stéphane and his co-driver Gabin Moreau will be driving on familiar roads. Finally, it is worth noting that a second C3 R5 will be entered for local driver José Pedro Fontes, Portuguese Rally Champion in 2015 and 2016.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal

"Following the C3 R5's very positive debut on tarmac in Corsica, it's now time to show its potential on gravel, again up against a large field. Equipped with a specific axle layout for each surface, an unprecedented level of work – for a customer racing product – has been done by our teams on the car. And Stéphane and Gabin have all the required qualities to showcase our new product in front of the knowledgeable and ever highly enthusiastic Portuguese fans. Having been involved in a good part of its development, they also know the gravel version well and they have always been comfortable at this round."

Stéphane Lefebvre

"It’s a rally that I really like and where I have some good memories. The stages match my driving style, with fast roads that call for an instinctive approach. I also have a quite a bit of experience here, having contested the rally every year since it moved to Porto. Given that I'll have to discard my result in Corsica, I'm determined to get my campaign back on track. That doesn't mean that I'll be putting any more pressure on myself because that's generally how you end up making mistakes, but I'm really keen to have a good rally. And this is especially the case since the gravel version of the C3 R5 has been well designed and I'll be taking part in two days of pre-event testing in order to be fully prepared."

Number of appearances at the event: 4

Best result: 13th(2017)

 

RALLY PORTUGAL SCHEDULE (GMT+1)

 

THURSDAY 17 MAY

7.30am: Shakedown (Paredes)

6.10pm: Start(Guimaraes)

7.03pm: SS 1 – Lousada (3,36 km)

8.00pm: Parc fermé (Exponor)

 

FRIDAY 18 MAY

7.45am: Service A (Exponor – 19 min)

9.15am: SS 2 – Viana Do Castelo 1 (26,73 km)

10.20am: SS 3 – Caminha 1 (18,11 km)

10.53am: SS 4 – Ponte De Lima 1 (27,54 km)

1.40pm: Service B (Exponor – 34 min)

3.25pm: SS 5 – Viana Do Castelo 2 (26,73 km)

4.30pm: SS 6 – Caminha 2 (18,11 km)

5.03pm: SS 7 - Ponte De Lima 2 (27,54 km)

7.03pm: SS 8 – Porto Street Stage 1 (1,95 km)

7.28pm: SS 9 – Porto Street Stage 2 (1,95 km)

8.10pm: Flexi service C (Exponor – 49 min)

 

SATURDAY 19 MAY

7.15am: Service D (Exponor – 19 min)

9.08am: SS 10 – Vieira Do Minho 1 (17,50 km)

9.46am: SS 11 – Cabeceiras De Basto 1 (22,22 km)

11.05am: SS 12 – Amarante 1 (37,60 km)

1.00pm: Service E (Exponor – 34 min)

3.08pm: SS 13 – Vieira Do Minho 2 (17,50 km)

3.46pm: SS 14 – Cabeceiras De Basto 2 (22,22 km)

5.05pm: SS 15 – Amarante 2 (37,60 km)

7.00pm: Flexi service F (Exponor – 49 min)

 

SUNDAY 20 MAY

7.00am: Service G (Exponor – 19 min)

8.35am: SS 16 – Montim 1 (8,64 km)

9.08am: SS 17 – Fafe 1 (11,18 km)

9.36am: SS 18 – Luilhas (11,89 km)

10.35am: SS 19 – Montim 2 (8,64 km)

12.18pm: SS 20 – Fafe 2 Power Stage (11,18 km)

1.50pm: Service H (Exponor – 14 min)

2.20pm: Finish (Matosinhos)

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