Rally Spain: Citroën Already Focussed on 2020
55th RallyRACC Catalunya Costa Daurada Rally Spain (24 – 27 October 2019)
After Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia’s hopes of a strong points finish were dashed by a hydraulics issue on SS2, the Citroën Total World Rally Team – whilst its C3 WRC undoubtedly showed significant progress on tarmac – was unable to prevent the drivers’ and co-drivers’ world titles being claimed by their rivals this weekend.
Following a very good start to Rally Spain’s opening leg on gravel, winning the first stage, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia then saw their chances of victory dealt a fatal blow by a hydraulics issue on the next stage. They then focused on making it to the end of the rally in the best possible position. Having moved up to eighth overall yesterday, confirming the progress of the C3 WRC on tarmac with several strong times, they continued to run in-competition tests today aimed at future outings on this surface.
Their efforts were unfortunately not enough to prevent Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja from winning the drivers’ and co-drivers’ world titles. The Citroën Total World Rally Team will now turn its attention to 2020, determined to enable Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia to take back their number 1. It will approach the final round of the season in Australia (14-17 November) with the same fighting spirit as usual and the clear intention to finish the 2019 season – in which it has already claimed eleven podiums and three overall wins – in style.
Showing confidence in the C3 WRC, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm had gradually improved their pace on the opening day on gravel, lying just 4s off the podium at the start of the second loop. Unfortunately, they were hit by an engine failure, leaving them with no choice but to retire altogether from the rally.
Citroën Racing was also pleased to see the C3 R5s win both RC2 support categories this weekend. Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen finished first and won the WRC2Pro class (ninth overall), whilst Eric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas were runners-up in the category and topped the WRC2 standings (tenth overall).