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Tue 23 May 2023

Rossel pinpoints focus areas for C3 Rally2 on gravel

Yohan Rossel has emphasised the need for improved gravel traction in his Citroën C3 Rally2 if he is to remain competitive in the race for this year’s WRC2 title.

Currently leading the WRC2 series by just one point over Oliver Solberg, the Frenchman secured consecutive victories in Monte-Carlo and Croatia. However, during his first gravel outing of the season in Portugal earlier this month, Rossel finished nearly two minutes off the pace with fourth place in the category.

While a time penalty for arriving late to SS7 accounted for 40 seconds of his time loss, Rossel clarified that a lack of grip, particularly on softer surfaces, also proved detrimental.

“It was impossible to fight for the win,” he reflected. “Okay, we had an issue at the end of the first day, but even without the penalty it’s the same situation. When we are on the soft surface it’s very complicated to drive the car.

“I have the speed when the grip is high, but when it’s low it’s very, very difficult. We took some points, but if you do not have the speed on gravel then you cannot fight for the championship.”

Citroën Racing is introducing a series of upgrades for its C3 Rally2 this year, with developments planned in several areas of the car. However, Rossel added that no major evolutions for gravel rallies have been implemented thus far.

“On gravel, not yet,” he confirmed. “Only some software [updates] or something like that. But before the end of the year, I think we will have an evolution.

“All the team is behind me. We will keep focused to try and win the championship and we will see what happens in Sardinia.”