This weekend, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship will take place in Greece. In addition to the two Citroën Total World Rally Team cars, Citroën Racing Technologies is supplying four DS3 WRCs for Petter Solberg, Kimi Räikkönen, Peter van Merksteijn Jr and Peter van Merksteijn Sr, which they will run in their respective teams.
A week before the Acropolis Rally, Citroën Racing Technologies held a test session in the Marseille region to prepare for one of the most demanding events of the 2011 season. Kimi Räikkönen, Peter van Merksteijn Jr and Peter van Merksteijn Sr drove the Citroën DS3 WRC to get the right feel for the car and test different setups.
“We ran on roads similar to those that the crews will face in Greece,” commented Benoît Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies manager. “We had a section that was a real car-breaker and another that was quicker. Our drivers were happy with this base and the setups of the DS3 WRC.”
At the beginning of the week, it was Petter Solberg’s turn to shakedown his car in Greece. ”It was a good run to make sure everything was working properly,” Nogier went on. “Petter has always been quick on this type of terrain. He can score a very good result here.
“Kimi Räikkönen is having his first outing on this rally, but his performances in Turkey and Jordan on stages like these prove he has the right skills to adapt to difficult conditions, where necessary. He has a good opportunity to show what he can do. Fifth or sixth place overall wouldn’t be a surprise. The aim of the two Van Merksteijn Motorsport drivers is to finish. The whole team’s worked very hard to get the DS3 WRCs ready to tackle the Greek roads.”
Friday, the first day of the event, will already be a severe test, with 141,33 timed kilometers and a single remote service halt halfway through the leg. The next day, the crews will have to cover another 141.89 kilometers with a night stage. The rally will finish on Sunday at 15h30, after 18 stages.
After scoring two podium finishes in the last two rallies, the Petter Solberg World Rally Team lies fourth in the Manufacturers’ World Championship. Ice 1 Racing currently holds sixth place.