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Citroen set to challenge Ford

The Citroen Rally Team is looking to continue its dominance of the 2011 WRC this weekend on the Coffs Coast.
The Citroen Rally Team is looking to continue its dominance of the 2011 WRC this weekend on the Coffs Coast. DANIEL ROESELER

CITROEN'S World Rally Championship rivals will have to be on their guard this weekend after the team's technical chief, Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, claimed the dominant DS3 WRC will get better with age.

The French manufacturer is aiming to make it nine wins from 10 starts - and move a step closer to a seventh manufacturers' title - with its new-generation World Rally Car when the Coffs Coast hosts the latest round of the ultimate motorsport adventure.

"Because of the technical regulations, we can't update the car as quickly as in the past," Mestelan-Pinon said.

"But we still have a few areas left and we can have options homologated every three months.

"We've already used two of the five jokers granted by the FIA for the car's first year.

"These modifications have been made to the suspension and the steering.

"Where the engine's concerned, we're now working more in view of 2012. We have evolutions aimed at improving the overall performance and reliability as we'll have to do six rallies with the same engine."

Ford team chief Malcolm Wilson said his squad is ready to respond to any upturn in pace by Citroen despite its Fiesta RS WRC still chasing a second win of the current campaign.

"We're constantly working but we're quite restricted," Wilson said.

"There is still more to come from the engine side but there is also a lot more to come from set-up and using what we learned in Germany where we were competitive and much more so than in previous years.

"While the performance was good (in Germany) we didn't have the result we should have had.

"You can't give up and we've got to win some rallies, but everything has to be at 100 per cent for us to do that."

Topics:  citroen coffs coast coffs world rally championship 2011 ford world rally championship


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