Citroen go for split event strategy in Queensland
- 9th June 2014, 10:48pm
Team Citroen Australia will be in the unique position of fighting for outright honours in both the International and the Australian sections of the upcoming Rally of Queensland.
The event, which is both a Round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship as well as the third Round of East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship, is staged in the forests behind the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Citroen’s pair of DS3’s, piloted by Adrian Coppin and Tony Sullens, will contest both events allowing the team to utilize strategy in the hope of featuring on both podiums.
“We looked at it as a team, and decided it was a really good opportunity to maximize the exposure of the team and to potentially fight for good results in both events,” said Adrian on the decision.
“I will be contesting the Asia-Pacific category, its another great opportunity for me to compete on an international level event and to get a bit of extra exposure to the APRC’s television audience throughout Asia,” he added.
For Sullens, who will almost certainly start near the head of the ECB ARC field, the decision was simpler. “From my point of view I don’t think I need to get caught up chasing anything in the APRC,” he said.
“I want to concentrate on doing my own thing, having a good clean run and going out and enjoying racing in the ARC. I don’t want to get caught up in other distractions.”
With the Asia-Pacific contenders starting at the head of the field Coppin will most likely benefit from slightly better road conditions. “Queensland is always rough, so being closer to the front definitely helps. Having said that we have a car that is built to handle the worst roads in the world, the DS3 is strong and reliable, so rough conditions may play into our hands.”
“For me Queensland is my favourite event of the year, and after the last couple of Rounds this year taking a more measured approach will probably benefit me with the endurance nature of the rally,” Adrian added.
Sullens too is thinking about the demanding nature of the event and how splitting the cars between categories may prove extremely beneficial. “We should be about 10 to 15 minutes apart on the road, so I’m thinking that if one car has problems we can swing the whole team onto repairs,” he explained.
“Where as at the ARC we are normally one car right behind the other, which means we have to kind of look after ourselves. It’s a good opportunity to think about how strategy might play into things and how we might be able to help each other out more by running separately.”
The International Rally of Queensland kicks off with the ARMOR-ALL Power Stage on Friday 20th June before two days of intense rally action over sixteen stages totaling over 241 competitive kilometres.
- Full access
- Exclusive news
- Store & Tour discounts