Monday | 16 May 2016

Bad weather fails to upset Citroën 2017 test

Kris Meeke and Stéphane Lefebvre battled rain, hail and fog during the second development test of Citroën’s new 2017-specification World Rally Car last week.

After an initial test in southern France last month, the French squad racked up the miles during a four-day gravel session in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, home to the WRC’s Portuguese round until its move north 12 months ago.

While Meeke drove the car, based on the yet-to-be launched C3 road vehicle, for three days at the first rough road test, this was Lefebvre’s first outing.

“We were actually quite pleased to have these variable conditions because they meant we could test different set-ups and assess how the bodywork stood up to being loaded with mud,” explained Citroën Racing technical director Laurent Fregosi.

“During the tests, we have several objectives. Obviously, we want to check the reliability of the various components. The mileage done by each part is noted down to make sure it tallies with the specifications. But our work is also focused on looking for performance and driver comfort.”

Kris Meeke makes a point during his test in Portugal

Fregosi, who replaced Xavier Mestelan-Pinon as technical director at the start of this year, is happy with testing so far and said a second chassis would soon be completed for asphalt work.

“Seeing our World Rally Car complete two long test sessions on demanding surfaces without encountering any major problems is very satisfying and just rewards for those who have been working on this project for over a year.

“Although we have already completed two test sessions, we’ve only just begun the journey. Analysing the data and driver feedback helps us to develop the technical definition whilst selecting the most efficient solutions. At the same time we are also preparing a second car which will be shortly used for testing on Tarmac,” he added.

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