The all-new 2017-spec FIA World Rally Championship car from Citroën Racing has broken cover in the first official test from the manufacturer.
Kris Meeke was at the helm of the car for the first test and he is understandibly excited about the new car, “Everyone is absolutely 100% committed and it’s fantastic!” said Meeke. “When I joined the Citroën Racing fold two years ago, the priority was the WTCC and the development of the WRC was fairly limited.
“Now, you can feel there’s a real energy, with engineers coming back to rally with experience they have gathered on the track. The Citroën Racing machine is up and running at full power and that motivates me to work even harder. Together, we can all do something really special in the future!”
Talking about the first run out in the car Meeke enthused, “With the power and the aerodynamic efficiency, these cars are fascinating. After my first run, one of the mechanics filmed the expression on my face. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the big smile on my face spoke volumes about how much I had enjoyed driving the new car!
“As soon as we set off, I felt that I was driving a genuine rallying machine, a well-designed car. I have been involved in the development of several cars in my time; generally speaking, you spend more time waiting around than driving in the first few test sessions. But with this, I was able to rack up the miles and start to explore the set-up options. It was like a dream!”
With the new specifications brings an increase in performance, but as Meeke highlights it also brings the opportunity to improve safety standards.
“Every year, even if the regulations remain unchanged, we always go a little bit quicker. You can’t stop technology from moving on. This new generation will enable us to make a big step forward in terms of the safety of the cockpit and protection in the event of a side impact. We’re heading in the right direction.”