FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC 2015): RALLY DE ESPAÑA – CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WORLD RALLY TEAM – INITIAL FOCUS ON BARCELONA
WRC A FULL 2015
INITIAL FOCUS ON BARCELONA.
23 October 2015
RALLYRACC CATALUNYA – COSTA DAURADA – SHAKEDOWN
The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team crews took advantage of the Rally Catalunya shakedown to prepare for the start of the rally in gravel configuration. Mads Østberg was the best-placed of the DS 3 WRC drivers, finishing in tenth position. They will all be expecting better things starting this evening.
Although the shakedown stage, located not far from the Salou service park, featured both gravel and tarmac sections, it was of little interest in terms of working on set-ups for the coming three days. The Citroën Racing drivers therefore opted to focus on preparing for the opening stage of the rally, held later this afternoon in the streets of Barcelona.
For Mads Østberg, who set the tenth fastest time on his second run, the opening leg will be very important: “The gravel roads are very narrow and really slippery. I can’t wait to get started. This morning, we completed our three mandatory runs on the shakedown to prepare for the super-special stage. There are large crowds already. In Spain, the atmosphere is always extraordinary and the fans are a little bit mad. We love it here!”
Kris Meeke was also guarded about this morning’s stage: “There was no point in using the shakedown to prepare for the race. We therefore worked on being ready for the super-special stage. You can’t win the rally on this kind of test, but it is possible lose it. There’s always a great atmosphere here. The organisers have done a good job on the itinerary with the start in Barcelona and the opening gravel stage not beginning until after 10am tomorrow. That’s very positive, because the conditions should be perfect!”
In the third DS 3 WRC entered by the team, Khalid Al Qassimi got back up to World Championship pace. He is contesting his fifth rally of the season with the DS 3 WRC in Spain: “The gravel roads are very slippery and narrow. The early starters will have to carve out the racing line and it will be a lot quicker for the drivers starting later than fifteenth in the running order. This morning’s shakedown wasn’t very representative of the conditions on the rally, so I just drove normally. We hit a chicane on our third run, but without any damage.”
Stéphane Lefebvre was fifteenth fastest in his DS 3 WRC. Among the FIA Junior WRC competitors, who are all driving DS 3 R3-MAXs, the best time was set by the Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby, ahead of Quentin Gilbert and Mohammed Al Mutawaa.
The rally is due to get underway at 1pm. The crews will set off from Salou for Barcelona, where the opening stage will be held from 6.04pm onwards.
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Categories: Rally Report Magazine 16 Años