Citroën Racing is to continue competing in the FIA World Rally Championship in association with its leading C3 R5 customers, beginning with this month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo and concluding in November in Japan after taking in many of the WRC’s classic fixtures.
This stepped up programme with the C3 R5 will see development of the car – which has been ongoing since 2018 – continue in order to provide customers with an increasingly competitive car.
PH Sport’s Mads Østberg and Yohan Rossel will benefit from official backing from Citroën Racing and its partners Total and Michelin on respectively eight and six rounds of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship, with the French youngster enjoying additional support from the FFSA (Fédération Française de Sport Automobile).
Nicolas Ciamin and Eric Camilli will also have assistance for the Rallye Monte-Carlo. Including private entries, a total of six C3 R5s are poised to start the 88th running of the WRC’s winter classic.
Citroën Racing will be providing support for promising Frenchman Yohan Rossel, winner of last season’s French Rally Championship at first attempt in a C3 R5. As victor of the 208 RALLY CUP in 2018, Yohan earned a full campaign in his national series in 2019 and ended up clinching the crown on his home event, the Critérium des Cévennes.
For 2020, the 24-year old will be part of the Equipe de France FFSA squad and will take part in six WRC3 events with the aim of learning and producing consistent performances. Co-driven by Benoît Fulcrand, his programme will kick off with the Rallye Monte-Carlo, before switching to gravel in Portugal, Italy and Finland, and concluding with Rallye Deutschland and Rally GB.
Mads Østberg and his co-driver Torstein Eriksen, who will team up with the French pair at PH Sport, have a calendar of eight WRC2 outings. The Norwegian is already familiar with the car following a season in WRC2 Pro in 2019 which he wrapped up with a class victory in Catalonia. Mads has considerable experience of the World Rally Championship thanks to a career spanning more than 10 years. In 2020, the Scandinavian pair has set its sights on the WRC2 title and will contest the same six events at Yohan Rossel/Benoît Fulcrand, along with trips to Sweden and Japan.
The entry for the 2020 Rallye Monte-Carlo features four other C3 R5s, including one for Nicolas Ciamin who also plans to travel to six WRC3 rounds this season. The list continues with Yoann Bonato who made a considerable contribution to the car’s development in collaboration with Citroën Racing’s technical department. He is targeting a programme of several rallies this year, although the exact choice has yet to be settled. Eric Camilli, who topped the WRC2 class (since renamed WRC3) in Catalonia last autumn, will also drive a C3 R5 on the Rallye Monte-Carlo, as will the outgoing Spanish champion Pepe Lopez.
The above French and Norwegian crews all attended a recent week-long test organised in the French Alps by Citroën Racing to help finetune their preparations for the Monaco classic which promises to be as fiercely fought as ever this time around.