Mads Ostberg will return to defend his FIA World Rally Championship 2 title with an upgraded Citroen C3 Rally 2 on the Croatia Rally.
Having missed the opening two rounds of the season, the Norwegian returns with a new team in Tagai Racing Technology World Rally Team who are running his car in both WRC2 and the Hungarian Rally Championship as he runs a duel campaign.
The first round of the Hungarian Championship is the Therwoolin Boldogkö Rally which took place on 18 April. Mads will use as a warm up for his WRC2 in Croatia with the newly homologated C3 Rally2.
The upgrades were passed through homologation by Citroen last month, so that the reigning champ could have the best possible start to his title defence. Speaking to WRC.com, Mads said: “We’ve worked hard on the C3. Really, I have been working on this car from scratch and to see how it’s working now is really positive. For this year I have two nice programmes and I’m going to be busy.
WRC2 will be tough with guys like Andreas Mikkelsen in there. It’s going to be good fighting with him – especially now we have the car like we want it.”
The upgrades to the car have been focused on the aerodynamic performance of the front lip, as well as tweaks to the breaks and transmission.
“We have done some work on the front lip for the aero. That’s made a big difference in testing. For the transmission we have some new ramps in the differentials, then we’ve made some small changes in the brake system to get rid of some issues we had before.”
“There’s some work on the software and geometry side as well – it’s a lot of small things, all of which will make a difference in the performance and the reliability.”
It may look like Mads faces an uphill task to reclaim his title at the moment, with Andreas Mikkelsen already holding a 53 point lead at the top of the WRC2 leaderboard after two events. But with only the 6 best scores counting to the overall score and ten events remaining there is plenty of scope for the title battle to go to the wire in November.