After a series of hold-ups, Citroen’s long awaited DS3 R5 has been homologated by the FIA and is eligible for competition in the World Rally Championship.
The FIA accepted the homologation the day before Rally de Portugal, the rally where Sebastien Chardonnet was expected to debut the car, after an earlier homologation date at the start of the year was missed.
Instead, on the same weekend as the rally in Portugal, the first customer car was driven to sixth place at the Rally di Sanremo by the Italian Rudi Michelini.
Chardonnet will be behind the wheel of the R5 when it makes its first appearance in the World Rally Championship at Rally Italia Sardegna in June.
Chardonnet won the Citroen Top Driver and WRC 3 titles last season, earning a prize drive with the French firm’s R5 car in this season’s WRC2 championship. The rally in Sardegna is the first round of his six-round programme.
The winner of this year’s Citroen powered FIA Junior WRC, which started last weekend in Portugal, will also be offered similar support for the 2015 season.
With the introduction of the R5, Citroen Racing now offers a comprehensive range of cars for all levels of rally competition, from R1 spec right up to World Rally Car. Citroen Racing says it has already taken orders for 30 of the R5 cars.