Tag Archives: Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team DS3





  • Having started day two of Rally Guanajuato Corona in second position, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson were forced to retire after SS12. They will rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules.
  • Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle enjoyed an error-free day, improving from thirteenth to ninth position by this evening and recording a first stage win.
  • There are four stages left for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers to score points at this Mexican round of the WRC. 


After a very successful first leg, Mads Østberg set off this morning to attack the stages in the Sierra de Lobos. However, on Ibarrilla 1, the Norwegian hit a bank just 200 metres shy of the finish.

It was only after passing the stop control that the crew noticed that part of the suspension was broken. Despite their attempts to repair the damage before the next stage with “a Viking fix”, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson ended up running out of time. They will be allowed to rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules.

Still learning about the Mexican stages, Kris Meeke nonetheless showed commitment and focus. After improving in the second loop, the Briton managed to record his first stage win on SS18 to move up into ninth position in the overall standings.

The final leg is made up of four stages, including a 56 kilometre-long test. SS22, El Brinco, will serve as the Power Stage in which bonus points will be up for grabs. The rally is scheduled to finish in Leòn at 2.30pm.


Mads Østberg: “I was pushing on the first stage. Shortly before the finish, there was a quick section ahead of a braking point for a right-hand bend. My pace notes weren’t right. I didn’t brake hard enough, so we carried too much speed and hit a bank on the outside of the corner as we exited it. We managed to finish the stage but the suspension was too damaged to be able to continue. We worked as hard as possible to carry out repairs but we just didn’t have enough time to make it to the start of the next stage.”

Kris Meeke: “The stages are really complicated when you haven’t experienced them before. You have to find the right rhythm. The roads are slippery with some very narrow, twisty sections. I was struggling to feel confident on the first pass. We are doing everything for the first time, which is part and parcel of the learning process. Once you’re more familiar with the stages, everything is a lot more straightforward. So, the feeling was a lot better this afternoon and I think you can see that in the times.”

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “Mads’ strategy was to drive at a strong pace in order to consolidate his second position. Unfortunately, an ill-judged pace note means his name has been added to the long list of drivers caught out at this Rally Mexico. Although he tried to repair the damage, he was unable to continue. He will rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules to prepare for the next round of the WRC in Portugal. Kris’ goal was to complete all of the stages. He drove at a sensible pace to ensure he built up some more experience. He is improving on a rally where he is competing for the first time.”


SS12 – Ibarrilla 1 (30.33km) – Rally leader Sébastien Ogier set the fastest time. In the final section of the stage, Mads Østberg ran wide exiting a corner and damaged the suspension on his car. Although he made it to the end of the stage, he retired on the road section leading to Otates. Sixth fastest time for Kris Meeke, who moved up to twelfth overall.

SS13 – Otates (53.69km) – On the day’s longest stage, Sébastien Ogier finished ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala. Kris Meeke moved back into the top 10. Andreas Mikkelsen and Robert Kubica retired.

SS14 – Ibarrilla 2 (30.33km) – Sébastien Ogier kept up his series of stage wins. Fourth fastest on this test, Kris Meeke continued to improve.

SS15 – Otatitos (43.06km) – Another fourth fastest time for Kris Meeke on this long stage, lasting over thirty minutes. Meanwhile, Sébastien Ogier extended his lead at the front.

SS16 – El Brinco 1 (8.25km) – Kris Meeke moved up a place in the overall standings during this live televised stage to grab ninth position. Sébastien Ogier went fastest once again, just ahead of Mikko Hirvonen.

SS17 and SS18 – Super Special 3 and 4 (2.21km) – After  a spin on the first run, Kris Meeke went on to set the fastest time on the day’s final stage. Jari-Matti Latvala went fastest on SS17.


1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:36:42.2
2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:00.3
3. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:37.0
4. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:24.0
5. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +8:02.5
6. Benito Guerra / Borja Rozada (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:33.6
7. Chris Atkinson / Stéphane Prévot (Hyundai i20 WRC) +12:18.3
8. Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +16:09.4
9. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +17:18.9
10. Yuriy Protasov / Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta R5) +17:35.0


Monte Carlo Rally Citroen



  • Citroën Racing gets its sporting season underway at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the first round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.
  • Two DS3 WRCs are competing on behalf of the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. They will be driven by the crews Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (no.3) and Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (no.4).
  • For the first time since it began competing in the WRC, Citroën Racing has completely changed its driver line-up from one season to the next.
  • Starting with the ID19 in 1959 and most recently in the DS3 WRC in 2013, Citroën has won in Monaco nine times.



Among its record number of WRC wins (93 victories since 2001), Monte-Carlo has a very special place in Citroën’s sporting and media history.

André Citroën was a big fan of marketing and therefore had no hesitation in entering his latest model at the 1934 rally. This was in spite of the fact the new car, the T45, was a pre-production vehicle, driven by a dozen or so crew members and finished the race 98th overall!

In 1959, the Brand won the rally for the first time in a Citroën ID 19 driven by Paul Coltelloni and Pierre Alexandre. Seven years later, Pauli Toivonen and Ensio Mikander secured a more unexpected win for the DS 21. Since it entered the WRC as a works team at the start of the last decade, Citroën has scored a series of wins in the Principality. In 2002, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena dominated the event, but came away as runners-up. The Franco-Monegasque pair then went on to win seven out of the next eight rallies in a Xsara WRC, C4 WRC and DS3 WRC. The 2003 rally even saw an all-Citroën podium made up of Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena, Colin McRae/Derek Ringer and Carlos Sainz/Marc Marti.

Last year, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena once again proved unbeatable, dominating the event after managing to negotiate the tricky road conditions created by the weather.


A winter rally held in the hills between the Alps and the Mediterranean, the Rallye Monte-Carlo is reputed for its highly varied, testing road conditions. The tarmac can be dry or wet, covered in ice or snow: the road surface changes over time, varies in different parts of the stages and as more cars come through.

To prepare for this testing rally, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team organised several test sessions in the south east of France, close to the route of the rally.

Chief Operations Engineer for the DS3 WRCs, Didier Clément detailed the method applied by the team: “Our test campaign was split into two stages. Before Christmas, both crews spent two days in the Alpes-Maritimes department. They were able to get used to driving the Citroën DS3 WRC on roads without any tricky sections. Then, a few days ahead of the rally, we made things more difficult for them. They had to drive with studded tyres on dry roads and slick tyres on the snow. We also tested the intermediate configurations, with combined tyre set-ups. Kris and Mads had to get to grips with these kinds of situations, which can easily arise at some point or another in the rally.”

By trying to cover as many different situations as possible in testing, the team was therefore able to boost its already very extensive knowledge base. “During the rally, it’ll be a question of making the best – or the least bad – tyre choice. You have to anticipate the conditions, comparing the information provided by the gravel crews with data from our weather experts and from Météo France,” explained Didier Clément. “Using all this information, as well as our experience and feedback from testing, we recommend a tyre choice to the crews. However, it is always the driver who has the final say, because he must feel confident in the car to be able to push.”

For this rally, each driver will be able to use a maximum of 45 tyres. Within the Michelin range, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team works crews will choose between soft and super-soft slick tyres, as well as studded and non-studded winter tyres.


Kris Meeke has plenty of experience of competing at Monte-Carlo, having raced here five times already: “My favourite memory goes back to 2005. It was my first rally in a Citroën; I was competing in the Junior WRC in a C2 Super 1600. The conditions were difficult, as ever, with snow and ice. I remember that year in particular, as I took the JWRC category win!”

From experience, Kris knows that Monte-Carlo can be decided by minor details: “Understanding the road – being able to read the surface conditions and reacting accordingly – is the best way to do well here. It is pointless aiming for a particular result. The goal is to be consistent, not make any mistakes and focus on the main priority, which is to make it to the finish. If everything goes well, your efforts will be rewarded by a good result.”

“Testing allowed me to get used to the handling of the DS3 WRC in particularly demanding conditions,” continued the British driver. “On the snow or ice, it’s essential to be confident in yourself and in the car. The work we did helped me to learn and improve. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what sort of weather we get in the race!”


Reflecting on his first outing at the rally in 2013, Mads Østberg particularly remembered the legendary Col du Turini stages: “I thought I had lost several minutes, because I was struggling to find any grip. I was fighting in the car, but had the impression I was totally powerless. At the end of the stage, I was so frustrated that I took off my helmet and put my head in my hands… And then someone told me that I had actually just set the fastest time so far. I was ahead of all of the leaders!”

Like all Scandinavian drivers, Mads is especially comfortable in slippery, low-grip conditions. The Norwegian would therefore not be averse to facing genuinely wintry conditions: “Monte-Carlo is a real challenge for the first race of the season. I haven’t done a lot of miles in the car as yet, but I had a good feeling in testing. I feel that the Citroën DS3 WRC is a really steady car, with a very powerful engine. Testing gave me the chance to experience just about everything that might be thrown at us during the rally. I thought that I fared pretty well with slick tyres on the snow, although it was sometimes more a question of survival than of racing… In any case, if I could choose the weather, I’d ask for as much snow as possible!”


Based in Valence in recent years, the rally looks very different this year, with over 90% of the route changed compared with last year. The 82nd edition of the rally gets underway in Gap on Thursday, 16 January. The race will start with two runs on a loop of three stages, in the morning and then in the afternoon: Orpierre – Saint André de Rosans (25.49km), Rosans – Sainte Marie – La Charce (17.98km) and Montauban sur l’Ouvèze – Col du Perty – Laborel (19.34km).

On Friday, 17 January, the crews will complete another loop around Gap with Vitrolles – Col d’Espreaux – Faye (49.03km) and Selonnet – Col des Garcinets – Bréziers (22.68km). After the midday break, the cars will head for Monaco with a second run on Vitrolles – Col d’Espreaux – Faye followed by the Sisteron – Col de Fontbelle – Thoard stage (36.85km). A regroup at Digne-les-Bains will enable the teams to change tyres, before the crews tackle the Clumanc – Col du Défend – Lambruisse stage (20.77km) after nightfall.

Meanwhile, the teams will dismantle the service structures installed near to the aquatics centre in Gap. They will be reinstalled overnight on the port of Monaco, the nerve centre for Saturday’s final leg. The final day’s action will revolve around the Col du Turini with two loops of two stages, made up of La Bollène Vésubie – Col de Turini – Moulinet (23.40km) and Sospel – Col de Brouis – Breil sur Roya (16.55km). The rally is scheduled to finish at 10.41pm.


Al Qassimi is ready for a major battle for victory in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team DS3.
Al Qassimi is ready for a major battle for victory in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team DS3.


Abu Dhabi Racing star says second round line-up could be strongest in FIA Middle East Championship history 

Abu Dhabi, 19 March, 2013:  Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi believes this weekend’s  Kuwait International Rally could produce a classic battle for supremacy between the Arab world’s top drivers in what is arguably the strongest line-up in FIA Middle East Championship history.

The UAE star’s Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team DS3 is one of ten powerful Regional Rally Cars contesting the second round of this year’s regional series on Friday and Saturday.

And while reigning Middle East champion Nasser Al Attiyah and Al Qassimi are seen as the two most likely winners, the Emirati driver believes at least two other contenders, Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi, could mount serious challenges for victory.

“This could be the strongest ever Middle East rally,” said Al Qassimi. “We have 28 cars, one more than the WRC Rally of Mexico last week and there’s a lot of quality.

“Most people seem to be focusing on Nasser and myself, especially after we finished first and second in the first round in Qatar. I think there are four or five drivers who could win.

“Abdulaziz showed what he can do by winning the WRC2 title in Rally Mexico and Yazeed did the same in the previous round in Sweden. They are both fast and will be battling for every stage – they’ll be hard to drop.”

Partnered by Scott Martin in the Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team DS3, Al Qassimi says the size and depth of the Kuwait International Rally starting line-up augurs well for the future of the FIA Middle East series.

He also hopes the emergence of Abu Dhabi Racing as a new force in the championship will help to raise the profile of the series and attract more young Arab talent.

“What we’re doing in Abu Dhabi is creating a lot of interest and helping to raise standards in the championship,” he said. “We’ve started something and we’re hoping it will open the door for others to follow.”

Also part of the impressive Abu Dhabi Racing driver line-up in Kuwait are Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Mohammed Al Mutawaa who contest the new 2WD category in a pair of Citroën DS3 R3s. Elsewhere, Bader Al Jabri competes in Group N in a Subaru N15.

FIA Middle East Rally Championship leading positions after Round 1:

1. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT)                 25pts

2. Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE)                18pts

3. Abdulaziz Al Kuwari (QAT)          15pts

4. Khalid Al Suwaidi (QAT)               12pts

5. Adullah Al Qassimi(UAE)               10pts

6. Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA)                   8pts     

7. Abdulla Al Kuwari (QAT)               6pts

8. Bader Al Jabri (UAE)                      4pts