SEBASTIEN OGIER AND HIS CITROËN RACING TEAM ARE PINNING THEIR FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE HOPES ON AN UPTURN IN ASPHALT PACE AT A KEY TEST IN SPAIN THIS WEEK.
The French manufacturer has struggled to find speed from its sealed surface-spec C3 this season. Ogier is hopeful a solution has been found that will bring improvements for the two asphalt days at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España (24 – 27 October).
He said: “We have some good ideas, already I made a small drive in Paris and we found some small direction, but we need to confirm them in the test. And this could be back on track.”
The Frenchman finished seventh on ADAC Rallye Deutschland’s asphalt and knows a repeat of that result could all but end his hopes of a seventh straight title.
“It was pretty obvious we were far off the pace in Germany,” said Ogier. “So we have quite a big test this week. It’s very important, it’s our only chance to be in this fight. We need every bit of improvement in terms of pace.”
Citroen’s hopes of bringing new parts to last week’s Wales Rally GB were spoiled by complications surrounding the homologation process. That new suspension will have to wait until next season.
Team principal Pierre Budar said: “The rules for the homologation are the same for all the teams. It’s just very frustrating and disappointing to know these parts make the car quicker, but we can’t use them.
“The drivers have run with them in the test and they like them. We know the car would be faster and giving more confidence if we had them on, but the rules are the rules.”