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Citroen's new front suspension joker homologation, designed to facilitate more accurate set-up changes, worked well in Finland. Ogier’s leaking fire extinguisher incident in Finland was not a repeat of his Chile problem, but a solution has now been found for the future. The team spent four days WRC testing – one day by both Ogier and Lappi, and also special guest Camilli (despite competing in the rally with M-Sport!) in the vineyards, half day each for Ogier and Lappi in Baumholder. Ostberg also did two days R5 testing in French vineyards. There has been considerable recent development test work with transmissions and suspension after Corsica, and a new engine homologation joker for Germany. Same cars as used in Sardinia. Gravel note drivers are to be: Jean-Joseph for Ogier, Mikko Heikkila for Lappi. Reasons for competition number selection: reigning world champion Ogier has #1 as required by FIA regulations, Lappi has #4 as used in his internal hashtag address number “#L4PPI”! Team quotes: Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal “After our second place in Finland, the aim will be to keep up the momentum here at this rather unusual tarmac event. We’ll be looking to secure at least another podium and also for Sébastien to score as heavily as possible for the championship. Since the last tarmac rally in Corsica, we’ve understood a few things on this surface and have worked incredibly hard to correct the issues. I’m therefore hoping that we’ll be back towards the top of the leaderboard at this round, especially as it is a rally that we know very well. We’ll also be introducing an engine upgrade on the C3 WRC at this event.” Sébastien Ogier, Citroën Total WRT driver “My aim coming into this round in Germany, a rally where I have always performed very well, is to secure a good result and shift the momentum a little bit in the championship. We had several types of weather conditions during testing and that’s always positive. The fact that we will be tackling the military base stage in the opposite direction to normal might make it a decisive test again, even though in the last few years the need to manage the tyres has meant we’ve been unable to push really hard. It is still a tricky section, like a lot of the rally itself. The risk of picking up a puncture is higher than usual, with the many curbs on the roads in the vineyards and the small, sharp stones that end up on the road surface in Baumholder.” Esapekka Lappi, Citroën Total WRT driver “My test in June was very successful. In addition to half a day in the military base, I had a full day on a good test base, with a little bit of everything we can expect road surface-wise during the race, and I felt comfortable in the C3 WRC. But it’s always difficult to know where you are compared to your rivals. In the meantime, I also spent the day at Satory, and that allowed me to get my bearings back on tarmac. So I feel ready and I think that on this kind of tricky rally, as well as having good speed, you need to be consistent given the number of incidents that invariably occur. The podium I secured last year showed just that.”
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