Matton: Asphalt will be key

Citroën Racing boss Yves Matton believes the two days of asphalt action could be the key to his team’s fortunes at this week’s WRC encounter in Spain.

After a day of predominantly gravel-based competition on Friday, RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España switches to wide, smooth, circuit-style Tarmac roads on Saturday and Sunday and the sort of conditions in which the C3 World Rally Car has performed best in an otherwise disappointing season.

The car's sealed surface highlights have included Kris Meeke's rally leading performance at April's Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse, and Andreas Mikkelsen's second place at last month' ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

"If we can manage to be well placed by Friday evening, then we'll be able to make full use of the potential of the C3 WRC on Tarmac to keep fighting at the front of the field," Matton explained. 

"For the last three rallies of the season, our aim is to get good results, building on the podium secured in Germany."

Citroën's hopes in Spain ride with drivers Kris Meeke, Stéphane Lefebvre and Khalid Al Qassimi. Last week Meeke and Lefebvre drove at a three-day gravel test in Catalonia along with nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb, who Citroën has invited to provide input on the car.

"During the tests we tried out a number of set-ups and some of them will be applied this weekend. We are continuing to work hard to meet the challenge of competing with our rivals," Matton said.

Before making his tenth appearance at the championship's Spanish counter, Meeke said: "We had a good test session and it was interesting to work with Seb . There is always room for improvement, but I think we are moving in the right direction."

"Potentially, we have a good starting position, but that'll depend on the level of dust or whether it rains. For the last two legs, we know all about performance level of the C3 on Tarmac."

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