2017 Citroën Racing WRC car makes its asphalt debut in France

Citroën Racing have made their 2017 WRC car debut on the asphalt in Southern France.

It’s been three months since Citroën Racing have tested their 2017 car on gravel since the car was tested on the bumpy roads of Aude in South France.

The French outfit used current WRC drivers Kris Meeke and Stéphane Lefebvre to learn how the new car behaves on the asphalt.

Citroën Racing Technical Director Laurent Fregosi said “By test driving the car in the toughest conditions first, we were able to check the reliability of all the components. 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.

“In terms of the regulations, the differences between a WRC’s gravel and asphalt setups are minimal, but they are vital. The biggest change is in the suspension. We use lighter parts that allow us to reduce the ground clearance. The drivetrain kinematics are also adapted to the 18″ wheels. Large wheels mean we can increase brake disc diameter and use water-cooled callipers. We should also mention the lighter body protection. On the aerodynamic front, we now have the ability to adapt the lower part of the front bumper specifically for asphalt.”

Meeke added “Citroën Racing has always made really good cars for this surface and I think this will be no exception! On tarmac, 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… We are continuing the programme as planned and each run teaches us a little bit more. Every phase of the project is just as exciting as the last!

There will be further tests for the new 2017 Citroën Racing WRC car as the engineers and drivers are focused on getting the car ready for Rallye Monte-Carlo on the 16 January 2017.