Friday | 02 Oct 2020

Østberg’s Italy bid boosted by French test

Mads Østberg will look to maintain his 100 per cent win record in WRC 2 at next week’s Rally Italia Sardegna (8 - 11 October) – and he’ll do so after encouraging development testing aboard Citroën’s C3 R5.

The Norwegian has won WRC 2 on all three rounds he’s started this season and is chasing a similar result in Alghero. He lies second in the standings, five points behind Pontus Tidemand, who has started one event more.

In preparation for the Italian island’s roughest roads, Østberg spent two days testing in France this week.

“I can really feel the positive steps,” he said. “Citroën worked really hard before the last event (Rally Estonia) and there’s more development to come. It’s really good.

Video: Rally Turkey - WRC 2

“We have a new philosophy on the differentials and a new damper. As well as that, we have some more development with the chassis and all of this is really helping with the balance of the car.”

Beyond the hardware improvements, Østberg said the input of the French firm’s former world championship-winning engineer Didier Clement was also being felt.

“We’ve had some good help from some of the senior figures from the factory,” he said. “Didier is, if you like, our current team boss and he’s been really helpful with his experience from running World Rally Cars in the past.

“We’re trying to bring some of that experience into these cars and trying to copy some of the things we have seen in the past for the transmission – this is all helping.”

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It will be Østberg’s 13th Sardinia start, with his best result being second aboard a factory Citroën DS 3 in 2014.

• Full coverage from Rally Italia Sardegnay will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.