Find out all the latest news from Citroën in the WRC on our social networks and discover the results of our two crews: Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingressia and Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm in C3 WRC.
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.
Wales Rally GB lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest events on the WRC calendar as Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia negotiated the unpredictable Welsh weather and muddy conditions to finish third overall. Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm gathered considerable experience, making it to the end of the rally, after having been forced to re-join under Rally 2 rules.
FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
1. Ogier / Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) 3:50:12.1
2. Lappi / Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) +34.7
3. Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:04.5
DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Ott Tänak – 210 points
2. Sébastien Ogier – 193 points
8. Esapekka Lappi – 80 points
MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Hyundai WRT – 314 points
2. Toyota Gazoo Racing – 295 points
3. Citroën Total WRT – 259 points
Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm ended Rallye Deutschland a disappointing seventh and eighth overall, as both crews struggled throughout the event to deliver their full potential in the C3 WRC, the French pair also collecting two harsh punctures. A tough weekend that the Citroën Total World Rally Team nevertheless leaves in determined mood, aiming to bounce back at the next round in Turkey (12-15 September).
FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
1. Tänak / Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h30'40''3
2. Lappi / Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) + 25''6
5. Ogier / Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) + 56''1
DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Ott Tänak - 180 points
2. Sébastien Ogier - 158 points
8. Esapekka Lappi - 58 points
MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Hyundai WRT - 262 points
2. Toyota Gazoo Racing - 236 points
3. Citroën Total WRT - 198 points
While Citroën Total World Rally Team’s chances of a strong overall result were compromised early on, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia proved once again that they remain fierce competitors, grabbing the second fastest time on the Power Stage and four bonus points. Meanwhile, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm finished in seventh overall, having managed the last two legs admirably.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia went into Sunday’s final leg, which covers just 52 kilometres and is well known to all the crews, with slim chances of making up the 11.8 second gap to the podium. The Citroën Total WRT’s lead driver therefore focused on the Power Stage, and the bonus points available, whilst remaining ready to pounce if a rival crew should make a mistake under pressure. That is exactly what happened on the final stage, enabling the French duo to move up to third position, securing their sixth podium of the season – and Citroën Total WRT’s seventh – after another intelligently crafted performance. With the five extra points earned for winning the Power Stage, Sébastien and Julien continue to lead the World Championship.
Coming into the Portugal round as leaders, and therefore forced to run first on the road, the six-time World Champions feared they would suffer, given the very loose, dry conditions seen in the recce. Sébastien and Julien managed, however, to produce a heroic performance on day one, reaching the end of day service in fifth place, just three seconds off the podium, having successfully gambled on tyre choice. Despite this, the difference in road position compared to the other podium contenders was so significant on Saturday that it prevented Sébastien and Julien from fighting in even conditions. This meant they began Sunday’s final leg 11.8 seconds behind the third-placed crew.
Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm, who were just 2.3 seconds off fourth place after SS2, had also made a good start to the rally. Unfortunately, one of their tyres came loose after landing a jump (SS3) and the pair found themselves down in eighth overall at the end of day one. They then produced an impressive performance on Saturday’s leg to climb to fifth overall, including three fourth fastest times, despite having spent two thirds of the day running in a tough second position on the road. Unfortunately, a minor error at the start of Sunday’s leg (SS16) proved to be extremely costly. The pair turned slightly too sharply into a right-hand hairpin and ended up spinning and then rolling their C3 WRC. As they attempted to defend their fifth place on the next stage, they clipped a bank, damaged the rear left-hand suspension and had to retire within sight of the finish.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia produced an excellent performance this weekend in Chile, finishing as runners-up as well as collecting four bonus points in the Power Stage. This means they head back to Europe from Chile with a ten-point lead in the championship standings. This sixth podium finish in as many rounds this season, combined with the sixth position of Lappi / Ferm, also means the Citroën Total World Rally Team stays within reach of second place in the manufacturers’ standings.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia immediately settled into second position on day one in the wooded sections that were left damp by rain before the start. Although the morning of day two proved more difficult, they were able – in conjunction with the team – to respond perfectly in the afternoon loop, grabbing a stage win and a third fastest time on their way to doubling their advantage over the third-placed crew. Unfortunately, they were hampered by the late arrival of fog and rain on the final stage of the day, allowing their rivals back into the mix ahead of the short final leg.
Sunday’s final leg was not short on difficulties, with yet more narrow and fast stages to encounter for the first time at full pace. It was made even more taxing by some light rain that had fallen overnight, leaving the roads significantly damper than it had been. In these testing conditions, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia saw the third-placed crew trim their advantage to just 1.1 seconds on the opening stage.
The six-time World Champions then produced the kind of performance of which they alone are capable. They pushed throughout the full 18.06 kilometres of Lircay, the rally’s narrowest stage, to claim their second stage win of the weekend, 4.2 seconds ahead of their rival for second place. The French crew then managed the gap to the end, finishing second overall and thus securing their fifth podium in six rounds, following wins at Monte-Carlo and in Mexico, second place in Corsica and third in Argentina.
After a cautious, focused start to the rally, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm had closed to within 10.3 seconds of fifth place with the third fastest time on Saturday’s final stage. They confirmed their growing confidence and improved form on Sunday, grabbing a fifth and a fourth fastest time. Their splits on the Power Stage were also very promising until a minor error dashed their hopes of any bonus points, but they still finished sixth overall. The Finnish pair can take heart from an encouraging result, one which they will hope to build on, so they can start the next round in Portugal in even better shape.
After a ten-second penalty was handed to their direct rivals for the final podium place by the rally organisers late last night for failing to follow the racing route on one of Saturday’s stages, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia went into today’s final leg in third position. They held a slim 6.0s lead as they prepared to tackle the very rough stages of El Condor and Giulio Cesare. Displaying their famous never-say-die attitude, the six-time world champions put up a determined fight in the C3 WRC, whilst not forgetting the importance of ensuring they secured big points for the championship. Their efforts were rewarded in the end: victory on the Power Stage, their third stage win of the weekend, saw them hang onto the final podium spot by just 1.4s!
Sébastien and Julien’s third position, combined with the five bonus points earned on the Power Stage, means they consolidated their hold on second place in the world championship, ten points behind the leaders. This is their fourth podium this year, after winning in Monte-Carlo and Mexico, and finishing as runners-up in Corsica. It is also the fifth time in as many events this season that Citroën Total World Rally Team has finished in the top three.
Despite the difficult, changeable grip conditions, particularly on the opening day after the heavy rain that fell prior to the event, the French crew made an excellent start, consistently among the frontrunners to end the leg second overall, just 11.9s behind the leaders. Day two proved to be trickier. Confused about which route to take on the morning loop (SS11) by a gate left open – whereas the roadbook indicated it was meant to be closed – Sébastien and Julien hesitated and ended up damaging the power steering of their C3 WRC when they hit the gate. They therefore dropped back to sixth position, 21.8s adrift of the podium. They then fought back like the champions they are on the second loop, claiming two stage wins on their way to fourth overall, keeping them in with a good chance of finishing on the podium going into the final day.
After making a decent start with a fifth fastest time on the rally’s first proper stage (SS2), Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm were unfortunately then held up by a puncture immediately afterwards (SS4) when they hit a bank following a crest. The Finnish pair were gradually upping their pace on what was only their second appearance in Argentina – as could be seen in their promising split times – when a tyre came loose following a puncture, rolling the car (SS8) and forcing them to retire from the rally on the opening leg.
Competing in the WRC2 Pro class in a C3 R5, Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen claimed their second consecutive category win after Rally Sweden, whilst also amassing a handsome tally of ten stage wins from the overall total of seventeen contested. Yet further evidence of the competitiveness of Citroën Racing’s flagship customer racing product on the very demanding Argentinian roads, where the C3 R5 was competing for the first time.
Beginning the day with just a 5.1 second lead over their closest challengers, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia immediately secured third place by extending their advantage to almost thirty seconds by the end of SS13, the first and longest stage of the day (31.85km). On the Power Stage, contested in the idyllic setting of the Fango valley against a magnificent backdrop of the crystal blue Mediterranean, the French crew once again showcased their fighting spirit to take the fifth fastest time and collect a bonus point. An unexpected final-stage incident then resulted in them being promoted to second position. They therefore closed to within just two points of the World Championship leader, meaning they won't be opening the road at the next round of the WRC, in Argentina (25 - 28 April).
Having struggled with some set-up issues on the opening leg, and unable to make proper corrections due to the lack of a mid-leg service, the six-time World Champions made the best of the situation by ending the day sixth overall, just 10.2 seconds adrift of fourth place. They then produced a heroic effort the next day on both runs on the brand new Castagniccia stage. They used all of their attacking instincts on the dirty, worn roads and their precise pace notes for the first pass at full speed, managing to secure the third fastest time on the first run and then the second fastest time on the repeat. These two performances enabled them to move onto the podium with just the short final stage to go.
Finishing as runners-up in the C3 WRC, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed their third podium this year from four rallies. Citroën Total World Rally Team has now finished in the top two in all four events this season, with wins at Monte-Carlo and Mexico (Ogier-Ingrassia), and second places in Sweden (Lappi-Ferm) and Corsica. This means the Satory team has now consolidated its second place in the manufacturers’ World Championship standings.
Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm also struggled with the set-up of their C3 WRC and quickly found themselves in a situation where their hopes of making up ground were remote. They therefore decided to use the remaining kilometres to run through a range of set-up options on the C3 WRC and add to their experience in the car on tarmac. Their persistence was nonetheless rewarded with a seventh place finish, which also provided a worthwhile contribution to the overall team result.