With Thierry Neuville scoring his best WRC result to date in fourth place on Rallye de France Alsace and Sebastien Chardonnet bagging a world championship point on his first outing in the series in a Citroen DS3 WRC, the firm’s future is seemingly in safe hands.
Neuville finished fourth in France on the back of five stage wins out of a possible six on the final day of the event. And he could have challenged for a podium finish but for a 20-second time penalty for an erroneous late check-in at a time control on the second day.
“I’m pleased with the consistency we managed to achieve throughout the rally,” said Neuville. “We took another big step forward here, although I still feel like I’m learning about the car on Tarmac. Overall, I’m more confident and things are going in the right direction. Our goal now is to finish a rally on the podium before the end of the season.”
Belgian Neuville’s programme for 2013 has yet to be finalised but it’s likely to include a minimum of eight events with Citroen. Frenchman Chardonnet is also working on securing regular work in a DS3 WRC next season.
Following his run to 10th on the Strasbourg-based round, Chardonnet said: “Every mile covered in this car is beneficial to me. We made it to the finish; the point for 10th place is a bonus. I now know which areas I need to make progress, both in terms of driving and race management. It has been a very rewarding experience. My only wish now is to compete in a rally in the Citroen DS3 WRC as soon as possible.”