FULL-SCALE TEST SESSION IN ESTONIA FOR ESAPEKKA LAPPI AND THE C3 WRC
Already hard at work preparing for the second part of the season, Citroën Total World Rally Team has decided to take advantage of the WRC’s summer break to enter Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm in Rally Estonia, a non-world-championship event. The aim is clear: to use this particularly rapid rally to prepare for Finland (1-4 August).
Between the last WRC round in Sardinia and the next one in Finland in early August, the average speed will rise by nearly 30 kph, while the number of jumps will literally increase tenfold. Hence the appeal of Citroën Total World Rally Team entering Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm and their C3 WRC in a non-world-championship rally known to pose the same kinds of difficulties as the forests of Jyväskylä. In what will be their one hundredth rally together, this is an opportunity for the Finns to reacquaint themselves with driving at very high speed in order to be perfectly prepared for their home rally, where, having already emerged victorious in 2017, they can harbour genuine hopes of a win.
Having already used the 2012 and 2018 editions of Rally Estonia as full-scale test sessions, the Reds will approach this year’s event with the same goal, seeking to hone the setup of the C3 WRC prior to the conventional tests scheduled after the race. The exercise bore fruit last year, with the crew subsequently securing a hard-fought second-place finish in Finland.
As this is a WRC partner event, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm will come up against at least one representative of the other three manufacturers that compete regularly in the World Rally Championship. Based in Otepää, in south-eastern Estonia, the action will be concentrated on the Saturday and Sunday, spanning 151.98 kilometres and 15 stages. The rally will culminate in a final special stage in Tartu, the country’s second-largest city.
Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal:
“The goal of this exercise is twofold. First, we want to get Esapekka in the best possible shape for his WRC round, by allowing him to clock up some kilometres in the C3 WRC in conditions similar to those he can expect in early August. The other goal is, like last year, to take advantage of the wider variety of roads offered by a rally in comparison to a conventional test session to choose the best technical options. Situations like that where you discover the roads as you drive, with only your notes to help you, always teach you a lot.”
Esapekka Lappi, Citroën Total WRT Driver
“At Rally Finland, we won’t have the luxury of an observation round. The gaps are so tiny that we will have to be up with the pace from the off. Finland is also a rally that is close to my heart, and this one-off appearance should enable me to show up ready to go, especially as I’ll have another day of testing afterwards. I have fond memories of the reception I got from the fans the only other time I raced in Estonia, back in 2014.”
Number of appearances at the event: 1
Best result: 5th (2014)
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