Citroen's all-new C3 for 2017 WRC rules makes trouble-free debut

Citroen's new C3 WRC for the 2017 World Rally Championship rules revamp has emerged from its first test without any technical problems

Citroen's all-new C3 for 2017 WRC rules makes trouble-free debut

After running for four days in rough gravel conditions, drivers Kris Meeke and Craig Breen reported no issues with the car that will spearhead the French firm's full-time return to the WRC next season.

Citroen tests 2017 C3 WRC car

Ahead of the test, team principal Yves Matton had talked of his concerns at the tight timeframe faced by Citroen to get the car up and running.

"It is one of the major stages in a project of this size," he said of the first test.

"The lead-times established for the design phase were very tight. Thanks to its expertise and experience, the team has done a fantastic job to design a car based on the new regulations.

"Having seen our World Rally Car begin road testing on schedule and complete runs without experiencing any major problems, we can take our time in confirming the upcoming milestones."

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Matton pointed to Citroen's recent work in the World Touring Car Championship as a source of data gathering for both the new 36mm restricted engine and higher levels of aerodynamics.

"We have never strayed far from the WRC and have been constantly updating our knowledge base," he said.

"Our WTCC programme will be a bonus, because it will enable us to have a different approach.

"Before, we had virtually no real experience in aerodynamics. It is now a field in which we have genuine expertise.

"Similarly, we have an engine that has been running for more than two years with a similar power level and lifespan to those stipulated in the WRC specifications.

"All of this will be beneficial for the rest of the development phase and when it comes to running the car."

Meeke was delighted with what he found following his first test at Chateau de Lastours.

"It's always exciting to drive a car for the first time," said Meeke.

"But this is different, this is the start of a major new programme for Citroen Racing and new era for the WRC."

Last year's Rally Argentina winner was impressed with what he found from the car.

"With the power and the aerodynamic efficiency, these cars are fascinating," Meeke added.

"After my first run, one of the mechanics filmed the expression on my face.

"I didn't realise it at the time, but the big smile on my face spoke volumes about how much I had enjoyed driving the new car.

"As soon as we set off, I felt that I was driving a genuine rallying machine, a well-designed car.

"I have been involved in the development of several cars in my time; generally speaking, you spend more time waiting around than driving in the first few test sessions.

"But with this, I was able to rack up the miles and start to explore the set-up options.

"It was like a dream."

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