Technical analysis: Robert Kubica's WRC2 Citroen

Technical analysis: Robert Kubica's WRC2 Citroen

Technical analysis: Robert Kubica's WRC2 Citroen

Robert Kubica has been a dominant leader on most rally outings so far - including his spectacular European Rally Championship debut last month - but that will not be the case when he joins the World Rally Championship in Portugal this weekend.

The 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner will be competing in the secondary WRC2 category in a car no match for the top-class World Rally cars.

In an exclusive analysis for AUTOSPORT, Citroen technical director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon explains the differences between Kubica's DS3 RRC and the DS3 WRC that will be fighting for outright victory in Faro with Mikko Hirvonen and Dani Sordo.

The engine

"This is what really makes the biggest difference - and the difference comes from the restrictor on the turbo. On the RRC, the restrictor is 31mm, on a World Rally Car it's 33mm, which means less power.

"When Robert is only on 50 per cent throttle, the power will be the same from his car as the WRC because the restrictor is not restricting so much, but when the throttle is 100 per cent, then he will have less power.

"While Robert will have less power than the WRC, the torque is similar [to a WRC] and, on gravel, it is, in my opinion, easier to drive a car with more torque - which might help him against some of the Super 2000 cars in the WRC2 class.

"The flywheel on the RRC is also 0.5kg heavier. When you have the weight of the flywheel higher, it's like you put more weight into the car - it gives more inertia to the engine. Basically, this means the car won't rev as quickly or as freely as a car with a lighter flywheel. The power is the same, it makes the difference in the way the power is delivered."

The brakes

"Here in Portugal there is no difference in the brake discs or calipers, but on asphalt there is a difference between the two cars. The diameter of the disc is smaller on asphalt and this means we cannot run the water cooling for the calipers.

"Talking about the brakes, one of the good things about Robert is that he is already using the left foot for braking in just the right way for the rally driver. This is impressive, he is a very instinctive and natural driver."

The rear wing

"The RRC has a smaller rear wing which means much, much less downforce and this is making a big difference now.

"When the cars are competing in the very high-speed sections, then Robert will notice a difference in how much the rear of the car slides.

"And we noticed this at the Fafe Rally Sprint last week, the smaller rear wing changes the way the car flies over the jump.

"Also, don't forget that while Robert's RRC has started its life as a World Rally Car before having the changes made, it wasn't the latest specification of WRC. In areas like the hub carriers and the damper, this is not the latest specification, it is running the previous spec, from late last year."

The paddle

"The paddle shift is not the same system we have used before. The paddle itself looks similar, but it is longer than the one we used on the C4 and it is on the other side [of the steering column]; here it's on the left and in C4 it was on the right.

"The system on this car is cheaper. The other manufacturers don't want for us to use the C4 system because it's too quick. The system we use looks like the system we use to disconnect the rear axle when the handbrake is pulled. The gear shifts in 50 milliseconds, which is actually slower than you could make a manual shift. This does not earn him time.

"It's not just the paddle which is a bit different in Robert's car. The handbrake on his Citroen has to be pushed to make it work, instead of being pulled - this makes it easier for him."

AUTOSPORT explains WRC2

This is a new-for-2013 category, meant - as the name suggests - to be the WRC's second tier. It combines the Production Car WRC and the Super 2000 WRC from last season.

Turbocharged 1600cc Regional Rally Cars, such as Kubica's Citroen and Elfyn Evans' Ford Fiesta, will be pitched against naturally aspirated two-litre Super 2000 cars such as the Fiesta S2000 and the Peugeot 207 S2000.

Also included in the WRC2 battle will be the conventional Group N motors such as Subaru Imprezas and Mitsubishi Lancers.

shares
comments
WRC Portugal: Kubica confident ahead of world championship debut

Previous article

WRC Portugal: Kubica confident ahead of world championship debut

Next article

WRC Portugal: Mads Ostberg grabs early lead from Sebastien Ogier

WRC Portugal: Mads Ostberg grabs early lead from Sebastien Ogier
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Robert Kubica
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021