The entry of the DS3 WRC in the 2011 World Rally Championship will open a new chapter in the history of the French make. The Citroën Total World Rally Team’s aim is win its seventh Manufacturer’s World Title, and to achieve this it has entered two crews: Sébastien Loeb-Daniel Elena, gunning for their eighth drivers’ world title on the trot, and Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia who have been promoted to the works outfit full time after scoring two victories in 2010. Three more Citroën DS3 WRCs will be driven by privateers: Petter Solberg, Kimi Räikkönen and Peter van Merksteijn.
Citroën Racing, which has been involved in top-level world rallying for ten years, is about to give its third World Rally car its debut. After the Xsara and the C4, which racked up three world titles each, the DS3 WRC will make its bow on the world stage in the Swedish Rally (10-13 February). The team directed by Olivier Quesnel has fixed itself an aim as simple as it is ambitious for this key season that represents a turning point in the make’s history – retain its Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles!
The Citroën DS3 WRC is a stunning synthesis of Creative Technology that complies with the new regulations drawn up by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The most visible change is its size. The DS3 WRC is more compact than the C4, which gives it much more spectacular behaviour. The revolution continues under the bonnet as the car is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection 4-cylinder engine designed in-house by Citroën Racing. It is coupled to 4-wheel drive transmission with a manually controlled sequential gearbox and with a constant power sharing system between the front and rear axles.
The Citroën DS3 WRC was unveiled at last year’s Paris Motor Show, and it has since undergone multiple test sessions to be ready for a season consisting of thirteen rallies, each one with its own specific characteristics, stretched over a 9-month period. From the polar chill of Sweden to the heat of the Jordanian desert, the World Rally Championship is a huge challenge for men and machines. The technical team managed by Xavier Mestelan-Pinon has reproduced the most extreme conditions during the sessions aimed at testing the reliability of the car and developing its performance.
The Citroën Total World Rally Team that represents the official colours of the make has entered two DS3 WRCs for crews that come from its own nursery, which today consists of the ‘Citroën Racing Trophies’ organized all over Europe. The reigning 7-time world champions Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena can’t wait to take on this new challenge. ‘Seb’ and ‘Danos’ hold just about all the records in the WRC, and they will start each round with the aim of winning and adding more laurels to their already-mind-boggling results. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, who took part in three rallies for the works team in 2010, have been given the no. 2 DS3 WRC. The French pairing have already won two world championship rallies, and they must now confirm their ability to associate speed and consistency.
Total continues its long-standing partnership with Citroën as title sponsor of the works team. The DS3 WRCs will also carry the famous Red Bull colours as the company pursues an involvement that began in 2008. Three brands will be back among Citroën’s partners, Michelin which will supply tyres for the DS3 WRCs, as well as Facom and Alcon.
Three more DS3 WRCs run by Citroën Racing Technologies will be entered for private crews in 2011. Petter Solberg-Chris Patterson will start all thirteen rounds, Kimi Räikkönen-Kaj Lindström will take part in ten rallies while Peter van Merksteijn-Eddy Chevaillier will begin their season at the Portuguese Rally.