VERSATILITY CHALLENGE FOR THE C3 WRC
Round ten of the WRC season sees the championship return to tarmac. Citroën Total World Rally Team crews Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm will be hoping to build on their success in Finland and lead the charge at this tough, versatile test.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have always performed strongly at Rallye Deutschland, having secured a podium on their very first outing in a WRC – finishing third in a C4 in 2010 – followed by a win a year later also in a Citroën, and two further victories, proving their ability to read the road invaluable.
Only one of two rounds exclusively on tarmac, along with the Tour de Corse, it nevertheless provides however a completely different challenge to the French event and one where Citroën has often shown their winning potential (12 wins, 11 of which in the WRC). It is therefore no surprise that the six-time world champions come into this event with the firm intention of pursuing their progress in the Championship.
Having claimed a stage win on their first outing in Germany in a WRC in 2017, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm went even better last year, grabbing another stage win on their way to a fine third place overall. As things stand, their 2018 performance remains their only podium finish on tarmac in the WRC. Despite this, this round is one of their favourites due to the constant changes in grip and road surface.
Boosted by their strong recent performance in Finland, where they finished as runners-up, Esapekka and Janne will be focusing on consistency as they seek to pick up where they left off in Scandinavia. Their seventh position in the running order may however prove to be a disadvantage, especially if there is rain, as slippery mud tends to get dragged onto the roads as more cars come through the stages.
With four days of dedicated pre-event testing held on stages that are representative of those contested during the event, the Citroën Total World Rally Team enjoyed extensive and instructive preparations. The team tested on a wide variety of road types and was fortunate to experience changeable weather conditions, which is always useful for this kind of event. The team also ran through some final checks on the engine upgrade due to be introduced at this round.