THE C3 WRCs GET TO GRIPS WITH TRICKY TURKISH CONDITIONS
A taster of the difficulties that lie ahead this weekend, the Rally Turkey shakedown confirmed just how hard the course is set to be on the cars and tyres, as Mads Østberg – Torstein Eriksen, Craig Breen – Scott Martin and Khalid Al Qassimi – Chris Patterson completed the session in seventh, eighth and sixteenth places.
This morning's 4.70km-long shakedown provided the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT crews with the opportunity to get their bearings on this type of surface, both technical and rough, which has become less common in the WRC in recent years.
Over three runs, they focused on identifying the specific features of the roads and finding the right balance between pushing and looking after the tyres and the car. Conscious of the need to avoid damaging their cars before the start, Mads Østberg, Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qassimi set the seventh, eight and sixteenth fastest times respectively.
Although the competitors will meet with local fans this evening during a number of promotional activities and then contest a super special stage in the centre of Marmaris, the real action gets under way tomorrow. Friday is the longest leg of the rally, with six stages contested over a competitive distance of 144.84km, starting with Çetibeli (38.10km), a section that many crews predict will be the weekend's decisive test…
WHAT THEY SAID
"The difficulties started in recce, with all the new pace notes that we had to take, but I think it went well for me. I am also pleased with my shakedown, despite the delays and the rain. We've got a huge challenge ahead of us this weekend. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it – there's literally no room for error on these roads. It looks like being more of an endurance race than a sprint."
"This morning's shakedown was very hard on the cars, but we were expecting it to be like that. In any case, our C3 WRC worked very well and I felt confident behind the wheel. I think you'll need to be smart during the race: stay in the lines and don't cut the corners too much."
Khalid Al Qassimi
"I used the session to get used to the type of road surface and gradually up my pace. It's going to be a difficult rally. You'll need to use your head when driving, starting with tomorrow morning's very long opening stage."
- Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) 3:24.9
- Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3:26.5
- Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3:27.0
- Tänak / Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3:28.6
- Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3:29.3
- Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3:29.4
- Ostberg / Eriksen (Citroën C3 WRC) 3:30.3
- Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) 3:31.6
- Suninen / Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3:31.8
- Paddon / Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) 3:31.8
16. Al Qassimi / Patterson (Citroën C3 WRC) 3:54.7