Citroen Racing got their Tour De Corse Rally off to the perfect start. Following his victory in Mexico last month, Kris Meeke ended the opening day as the outright leader of the event. Speaking following Friday’s action, Meeke commented by saying:
I really enjoyed driving the Citroën C3 WRC on these roads. The rally is far from over, but today’s good result is just rewards for the hard work done by the team, especially during pre-event testing. We managed our day well, particularly in the afternoon when we had to cope with more dirt and gravel pulled onto the racing line and higher tyre wear. I feel good but I have to be wary because I only have a very narrow lead.
Craig Breen who is back in action in C3 WRC after missing Rally Mexico was happy with his performance on the opening day as the Waterford native ended the day in fourth place, 52.4s behind his team mate and speaking following Friday’s action, Breen commented by saying:
It’s been a good day, especially as we’re not a million miles away from the podium. On the advice of the engineers, I’ve changed my tarmac driving style completely to try and be less aggressive on the brakes. It seems to be working but I feel that there’s definitely room for improvement. I was also trying to adjust the settings of the diff maps on the stages and I think it seems to be better. Everything is going well, the C3 WRC is really nice to drive in conditions like these.
Stephane Lefebvre ended the day in eighth place and speaking following his day in the car he stated:
The main thing is that we have had a clean, consistent day, in line with the target we had set ourselves. Obviously, I’m suffering from my lack of knowledge on this rally. It was only on the first seven kilometres of Pietrosella, which are new for everyone, where I was able to compete with the leading guys. It’s not easy to get the right level of aggression. If you push too hard, you get more understeer and that’s not what we’re looking for either!
It is the first event in the 2017 World Rally Championship that Citroen Racing have run three C3 WRC’s and speaking following the opening day of action, Team Principal Yves Matton commented by saying:
Today’s leg looks a lot like the one we were hoping for! Right from the word go, Kris was comfortable and that helped him to get a feel for the race. The gap to the second-placed crew is still pretty small, but today shows the qualities of our Citroën C3 WRC on tarmac. With two fourth fastest times in the afternoon and fourth overall, Craig has also confirmed he is quick on this surface. Meanwhile, Stéphane has shown good, consistent form, given his lack of experience here. It was also positive in terms of reliability, given that there was no service on today’s leg.
The action continues tomorrow.