Citroën Racing begins testing of all-new R5-spec C3

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Citroën Racing has announced, that following a 12 month development period it is holding the first tests for its all-new C3 R5 this week. Intended for customer racing, the C3 R5 is the latest manufacturer developed competition car developed to the FIA’s R5 regulations. As per the regulations, Citroën Racing’s C5 is built around four-wheel drive, a 1.6-liter direct injection turbo engine generating about 280bhp, and a sequential semi-automatic gearbox.

“We are reaching an important milestone this week with the first development tests of the car, which is already close to the finished product,” explained Yves Matton, Citroën Racing team principal. “The specifications given to the technical teams are clear: we want the Citroën C3 R5 to set new standards in the category, in terms of performance, reliability and controlled operating costs. In order to create an entirely new product, we used all of Citroën Racing’s experience in the WRC, adding contributions from leading technical suppliers such as Sadev for the transmission and Reiger for the suspension systems. Our works drivers will also be taking part in development of the car. Stéphane Lefebvre and Craig Breen are driving in this first session, along with Yoann Bonato, the current leader of the French Rally Championship.”

Design work on the Citroën C3 R5 began about a year ago. In addition to the work done in the design office, most of the mechanical components have been tested in real conditions, on test mules driven since the start of 2017.

“For the first outing of the full car, we are already pretty close to the definition that will be offered to customers. The sessions are being held on gravel and sufficiently varied road surfaces to test the car’s robustness and begin fine-tuning the basic set-up,” added Pierre Budar, development director, Customer Racing Vehicles. “There is a direct link between the C3 R5 and the C3 WRC. For example, the roll cage of the two cars was designed by the same engineer. Some solutions have been re-used, whilst adapting them to the constraints of the regulations and small-scale production. Similarly, the engine has been developed in-house, based on the unit used on the production model, therefore providing the greatest potential in terms of performance and reliability. We have also chosen to work together with the best suppliers. Overall, we have an even, consistent product, capable of meeting the goals of the customers that choose the Citroën C3 R5.”

Following these first test sessions, Citroën Racing will be pursuing development of the C3 R5 on both gravel and tarmac, calling upon various drivers with different profiles in order to achieve a genuinely versatile product. FIA homologation is scheduled for 2018.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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