The Citroën TOTAL Abu Dhabi WRT is taking on the 2017 WRC season
2017 sees a momentous year for the FIA World Rally Championship and TOTAL Lubricants will be at the forefront of the revolution.
This season witnesses all new technical regulations, which have resulted in ground-breaking new WRC cars, with TOTAL partnering with Citroën to form the Citroën TOTAL Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Four teams of drivers and co-drivers, Craig Breen/Scott Martin, Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau, Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi/Chris Patterson and Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, will be at the wheel of the powerful new Citroën C3, which has been developed from a clean sheet of paper.
The result is a bewinged spectacle of a rally car, which has been in development for nearly eighteen months. All the hard work of the Citroën designers, technicians and engineers will be put to the test in public, which started at the Rallye Monte-Carlo in January and runs until the Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November.
The team will come under fierce competition from rivals such as M-Sport, Hyundai and Toyota, but the combination of TOTAL and Citroën should see excellent results throughout 2017.
Returning to the sport in an official capacity after a year break to focus on the new car development, the team are no strangers to success. Between 1999 and 2016, they recorded no less than nine Drivers’ WRC Championships for Sébastien Loeb and eight Manufacturers’ titles for Citroën, plus a record for team rally wins at 96.
Citroën TOTAL Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Principal, Yves Matton, highlights the team’s goals for the rally season ahead:
“In 2017, we want to win races in normal conditions, by beating our competitors. And then in 2018, our goal is to bring home at least one of the world titles. When I read certain comments, I note that a lot of people are expecting the C3 WRC to be fast right from the word go. We certainly have pressure on our shoulders. We’ll treat this challenge with the respect it deserves.”
The team have undertaken over 9,500kms of extreme testing before the car's debut on the Rallye Monte-Carlo, with TOTAL intrinsic to the development process. The WRC sees intense competition across three continents, including the snow of Sweden, the tarmac of Corsica and the dry gravel of Mexico.
Drivers and co-drivers tackle the events in the latest cars at a flat-out pace, thanks to advanced aerodynamics, paddle-shift gearboxes, active differentials, all-wheel drive, 380bhp and a colossal 40Nm of torque. It provides an ideal platform to prove the durability and performance of TOTAL Lubricants, learnings of which are passed down into our road-going products, such as TOTAL QUARTZ.
The relationship between TOTAL and Citroën has been formed for over 48 years, not just through motorsport, but a 360-degree partnership that includes road cars, the 100,000 employees and B2B customers. This is summed up in the company's famous motto, “Citroën prefers TOTAL”.
We are looking forward to a successful partnership between Citroën and TOTAL throughout the 2017 WRC championship and wish the team, drivers and co-drivers the very best of luck.