C3 Rally2 claims podium finishes in WRC2 and WRC3 in Portugal!
After producing some first-class performances on Croatia’s brand-new stages, C3 Rally2 enjoyed a successful debut on the Portuguese gravel with podiums for Mads Østberg in the WRC2 and Yohan Rossel in the WRC3. The #C3Rally2Family drivers all showed their ability to adapt on the particularly demanding Rally de Portugal stages.
- Mads Østberg began the weekend by grabbing a top-three finish in Thursday’s shakedown, providing further confirmation that he is one of the favourites for the WRC2 title. After starting the opening stage at the same pace, the Norwegian and co-driver Torstein Eriksen unfortunately became quickly unstuck on the uncompromising Portuguese stages, hitting a loose rock that dropped them out of the provisional top three. In addition to a puncture, Østberg and Eriksen had to contend with some steering issues on their C3 Rally2. The TRT team were impressively quick to try and fix the issues, however, enabling Mads Østberg to find some real speed in his C3 Rally2 and return to the top of the timesheets. The Norwegian collected five stage wins on his way to finishing third in the WRC2 class.
- Leader of the provisional WRC3 standings, Yohan Rossel faced some very stiff competition, going up against experienced drivers used to the particular difficulties of the Portuguese round. Methodical in his approach and full of confidence in the C3 Rally2, Rossel more than held his own against some of the category’s leading drivers to claim second place, less than 6s behind three-time European Rally Champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
- A few days before fighting for the top positions in the French Championship with C3 Rally2, Eric Camilli lost all hope of a decent finish after suffering a broken transmission. Out of contention for the WRC2 class win, Camilli was able to make the most of the potential of his C3 Rally2 operated by the Sports & You team to match the pace of the drivers fighting for the win and managed to grab third place on the Power Stage.
- Hampered by dust as he caught up with the drivers ahead of him during the opening stages, Nicolas Ciamin remained patient at the start of the race before showing impressive pace in the C3 Rally2. Despite struggling with his tyres in certain sections, the Frenchman managed the difficulties of the Portuguese stages to finish just outside the podium places in the WRC3.
- A familiar face to supporters of Marseille football club, former manager Andre Villas-Boas made his debut in the World Rally Championship in a C3 Rally2. Despite this being his home rally, Villas-Boas had it all to do! The football manager improved consistently throughout the weekend to end his baptism of fire in world rallying just outside the Top 10 in the WRC3.
- More accustomed to French roads, Jonathan Rieu was making his first appearance at Rally de Portugal with C3 Rally2. Despite the difficulties and the rough gravel roads he had to contend with due his position further down the running order, Rieu made it into the Top 20 of the RC2 class.
- Chilean driver Alberto Heller was hit by punctures but nonetheless made it into the top 10 in the WRC3 class, setting some promising times in the process.
- Jose Pedro Fontes, Jan Solans and Alexander Villanueva were all caught out by the tricky Portuguese roads and had to retire despite some promising performances.
WHAT THEY SAID…
Didier Clément, Head of Customer Racing, Citroën Racing
“This round in Portugal was the first appearance of C3 Rally2 fitted with 2021 upgrades and Pirelli tyres on gravel. I think we can be pleased with this first outing, although it is encouraging to note that there is room for improvement. Had he not picked up the puncture, Mads Østberg would have been able fight for the WRC2 win. Our technical teams managed to adapt the set-up of C3 Rally2 to the Pirelli tyres. Yohan Rossel kept up a good pace throughout the race to finish as runner-up in the WRC3 whilst Nicolas Ciamin used the rally to add to his experience on gravel.”
Mads Østberg, C3 Rally2 driver in the WRC2
“We couldn't have got off to a worse start with the puncture and the steering issues. The whole TRT team worked hard to try and fix the issues and we managed to get back into contention for a WRC2 podium spot. I think we could have scored more points on the Power Stage, but this performance nevertheless moves us closer to the top three in the WRC2 standings. We now have a few days to work with TRT and Citroën Racing to fine-tune the set-up of the C3 Rally2 before the start of Rally Sardegna in early June.”
Yohan Rossel, C3 Rally2 driver in the WRC3
“It's a positive result for us, we showed some good pace on the stages, which are always very hard on the cars. We’re now going to work even harder to find the right set-up for gravel and make sure we’re in the best possible shape for Sardinia in two weeks’ time. I was really pleased with the work we did with the team this weekend. We looked at various options, which helped us to keep the pressure on Kajetan Kajetanowicz throughout the rally. This second place in the WRC3 is going to give us plenty of confidence for the next few events.”