Tuesday | 25 Apr 2017

Citroën's fix inspires confidence

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT received a confidence boost ahead of YPF Rally Argentina (27 - 30 April) after engineers cured the mechanical gremlin that robbed Kris Meeke of potential victory at the last round in Corsica.

Meeke's C3 was brought to a smoky halt by a suspected engine problem at the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse, but post-rally analysis revealed the root cause was a component in the oil system.

"The cause was a broken lubrication system connector, so it wasn't an actual engine issue," technical director Laurent Fregosi explained. "Obviously, we studied an alternative solution, which came through with flying colours at our recent pre-event testing."

Having got to the bottom of Meeke's Corsica retirement, the focus of the team's five-day test was adjusting the C3's suspension for Argentina's variable gravel conditions.

"Argentina is a tough event as the loose ground deteriorates between the two passes, exposing large rocks on the road," Fregosi said. "Combined with the high speeds reached, the impacts subject the chassis and the suspensions systems to considerable stress."

Citroën has won Argentina's WRC counter 10 times in the last 12 years, most recently in 2015 when team leaders Meeke and Paul Nagle claimed their first victory at WRC level. 

Having won this season's most recent gravel encounter in Mexico, Meeke is looking forward to returning to the scene of his maiden victory.

"I only have good memories of racing in Argentina: third place on my first appearance and then my first WRC win, which is now two years ago!" he said.

"Even though I didn't compete here last year, I've every reason to feel confident. What with my win in Mexico, the start of the Tour de Corse and the work done in testing this week, I feel good coming into this rally."


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