When you’ve enjoyed as much World Rally Championship success as Citroën Racing, it’s worth looking back over your shoulder every now and then to learn from a decade of domination at the top of the sport.
That’s precisely what the French manufacturer is doing with its C3 R5 – a car which, in Mads Østberg’s hands, has scored three out of three WRC2 wins so far this year.
And the amiable Norwegian says that’s just the start.
“There’s more development to come on the car,” Østberg told DirtFish. “After the rally [Liepāja] in Latvia, a big bag went back to Citroën and in the two weeks between that rally and Estonia they worked really hard. A big bag came back with some new parts and new development work and I can really feel the positive steps.”
“We have a new philosophy on the differentials and a new damper. As well as that, we have some more development with the chassis and all of this is really helping with the balance of the car.”
Citroën’s legendary WRC engineer Didier Clement – the man who helped guide Sébastien Loeb to all nine of his WRC titles – is working directly on the C3 R5 programme now and Østberg says that influence can be felt.
“We’ve had some good help from some of the senior figures from the factory,” he said. “Didier is, if you like, our current team boss and he’s been really helpful with his experience from running World Rally Cars in the past.
“We’re trying to bring some of that experience into these cars and trying to copy some of the things we have seen in the past for the transmission – this is all helping.”
Østberg had hoped to tackle this week’s Rally Turkey in his PH Sport-run car, but Citroën Racing has decided against the Marmaris event. His next scheduled outing is likely to be Rally Italy Sardinia next month, where he could surpass his 2019 WRC2 Pro win tally.