WRC: Citroen completes first 2017 car asphalt test

2016-07-22 19:59:30

Citroen has tested its 2017 World Rally Car on asphalt for the first time with Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre.

The French manufacturer's new model for the WRC's rules revamp has been running on gravel for three months, but was not tried in asphalt specification until sessions in Aude in southern France this week. Technical director Laurent Fregosi said Citroen preferred to deal with the tougher conditions of gravel first.

"By test driving the car in the toughest conditions first, we were able to check the reliability of all the components," he said. "What is more, there isn't just one type of gravel. Finland and Mexico offer completely different surfaces. So we wanted to explore that diversity by testing the car on asphalt, where the operating window is narrower."

Fregosi said the car had run reliably, with a focus on set-up changes for asphalt and differential programming in particular, plus the ways in which the new rules allow for greater adaptation to different surfaces.

"On the aerodynamic front, we now have the ability to adapt the lower part of the front bumper specifically for asphalt," he said.

Meeke added that the performance upgrades for the 2017 cars – which feature more power and more substantial aerodynamics – were even more obvious in asphalt trim than on gravel.

"You can really feel the changes introduced as a result of the new regulations, such as the higher power, the increased width, the power of the brakes," he said.

Citroen now has two 2017 chassis ready for testing, so will expand its program in the coming weeks. It will also be back in the WRC for next week's Rally Finland, with Meeke, Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qassimi driving in the latest of its part-time appearances with the previous generation car run by PH Sport.


Originally on Autosport.com

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