The best just got better: Citroen renames and upgrades its ERC winner
Citroën Racing has renamed and upgraded its C3 R5, the car Alexey Lukyunuk used to win his second FIA European Rally Championship in 2020.
From 2021, the C3 R5 will become the C3 Rally2 in line with the FIA’s rallying pyramid, while a new look and package of improvements are set to come on stream from next month.
Seven significant technical upgrades are planned for the first three months of 2021 using knowledge and feedback garnered from 15,000 kilometres of testing with the aim of achieving gains in performance, running costs and driveability.
New engine software will be homologated from January which, according to Citroën Racing, is “aimed at honing further the engine operating strategies related to the start and lift phases”.
In addition, Citroën Racing is planning the introduction of a “new front apron with revised aerodynamics, a new front differential rail providing a wider range of settings and an adjustable brake distribution pedal offering drivers greater comfort, as well as new engine brackets, rear toe brackets and exhaust manifolds, in order increase their service life”.
Citroën Racing has confirmed that all upgrades “will be fitted free of charge to all C3 Rally2 models ordered since December 1”.
The changes for 2021 follow on from previous modifications in 2019 and 2020.
In 2019, a new rear subframe was homologated, which Citroën Racing introduced to “improve stability and feeling under braking, when a rear suspension arm redesigned to further increase reliability”, along with enhanced gravel dampers to “fine-tune the balance of the car” became available.
For 2020, Citroën Racing’s technical team focused its efforts on enhancing the dampers used in Tarmac specification, while “further improvements were made to provide better feedback in low-grip conditions”.
Jean-François Grandclaudon, Technical Director of the C3 Rally2 project, said: “Since its introduction in 2017, we have worked constantly and racked up a lot of miles on the road, enabling us to offer our customers an increasingly fast car, suited to all types of driver and with controlled running costs.
“This season, even more work was done with our two development drivers, Mads Østberg on gravel and Yoann Bonato on Tarmac. Over the last two years, the car has changed a lot, especially with a number of components that have not needed homologation and our efforts have now paid off with titles claimed this year in major championships.”
Of the tweaks planned for 2021, Grandclaudon added: “There is no need for a revolution on the C3 Rally2. We are going to build on the excellent foundation we have, which is both robust and quick, to try and improve it where we can. Although development is a never-ending process, we are excited at the prospect of seeing the performances of our customers in the car with these upgrades.”