Saturday | 22 Mar 2014

Chardonnet R5 debut on ice

Sébastien Chardonnet’s WRC debut with the new Citroen DS3 R5 has been delayed until June after a further hold-up with the car’s FIA homologation.

Chardonnet won the Citroen Top Driver and WRC 3 titles last season, earning a prize drive with the French firm’s new R5 challenger in this season’s WRC 2 championship.

However, homologation of the DS3 R5 was delayed at the start of the year and he missed the opening round in Monte-Carlo. Chardonnet was then expected to debut the car at next month’s Rally de Portugal, but that has also been scrapped after a further delay to homologation, which was due on April 1.

The 25-year-old Frenchman will now make his first appearance at Rally Italia Sardegna on 5 - 8 June.

Sébastien Chardonnet (right) with Citroen team principal Yves Matton (left) and co-driver Thibault de la Haye

A Citroen spokesman said homologation had been put back until later in April, after Rally de Portugal.

“For the moment, we can say that the homologation was postponed on April 1, because we would like to integrate the latest technical evolutions and to have time to test these evolutions. The first car will be delivered in April in Italy,” he said.

PSA stablemate Peugeot’s 208 T16 R5 car debuted in the hands of Paolo Andreucci at Italy’s Rally Il Ciocco last weekend after similar homologation delays. Andreucci finished third.