Published on May 18th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Citroen Racing Continues Development of 2017 WRC Car in Portugal
Three weeks after its first outing, Citroën Racing has continued development of its 2017 World Rally Car in the south of Portugal. Faced with varied weather conditions, Kris Meeke and Stéphane Lefebvre racked up the miles during four days of testing.
Fresh from the first test in the south of France, Citroën Racing headed to the Algarve in Portugal for the second session of development testing for its 2017 World Rally Car. The team were treated to rain, hail, fog and even the occasional burst of sunshine as they worked on the new car. Teammates Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle and Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau were busy behind the wheel of the prototype produced by the Versailles Technical Centre, as they prepare for Rally de Portugal with the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team.
“We were actually quite pleased to have these variable conditions because they meant we could test different set-ups and assess how the bodywork stood up to being loaded with mud,” explained Laurent Fregosi, Citroën Racing’s Technical Director.
Called on to produce the initial drawings, the design office then went to work on designing each part: “The approach is always the same: design hard-wearing, light components, whilst implicitly looking to adjust and lower the centre of gravity. The crews, as well as the engineers and technicians that will be running the car, were asked to give their opinion. We still need, for example, to improve the removal of parts that are likely to be replaced in service.”
Built in less than a month, the assembly of the first prototype involved the efforts of various teams:
“It was a critical moment because some components took a long time to manufacture. In the workshops, the technicians adopted a just-in-time approach, so that we would be ready on schedule. Although we have already completed two test sessions, we’ve only just begun the journey. Analysing the data and driver feedback helps us to develop the technical definition whilst selecting the most efficient solutions.”
“As the same time, we are also preparing a second car, which will be shortly used for testing on tarmac. This iterative way of working – which affects all areas, from the chassis to the engine, including the transmission and the aerodynamics – will continue until we need to obtain homologation of the car for the 2017 Rallye Monte-Carlo. That point seems so far away, and yet it’ll be here before we know it!”