Could Peugeot and Citroën be on track for rally racing glory this year? Both the World Rally Championship (WRC) and World Rallycross Championship (WRX) seasons have begun for 2018, with Citroën focusing on the former competition and Peugeot the latter. After both teams and their drivers missed out on claiming the championship titles last season, new cars and fresh plans are in action to hopefully ensure success this year. Here’s the latest WRC news, a look at how the seasons are shaping up so far and the cars and drivers involved.
Last Season’s Results
It was a disappointing season in the WRC last season for Citroën, as the team finished last in the Manufacturers’ Championship. What made this even more disappointing was that the team had taken a year out to prepare the brand new C3 for the competition. It started off poorly with team leader Kris Meeke breaking his car’s suspension and failing to finish the race, while Stephane Lefebvre finished ninth at its home round in Monte Carlo. Overall in the Drivers’ Championship Meeke managed a seventh-place finish and Lefebvre twelfth.
There was greater success in the WRX Championship with the Team Peugeot-Hansen finishing second in the WRX Championship for teams. Sébastien Loeb managed to finish fourth in the overall Drivers’ Championship with Kevin Hansen in eighth.
Cars and Drivers for 2018
Meeke is again competing alongside Craig Breen and Sébastien Loeb in the WRC for Citroën. Driving a Citroën C3 WRC model, with a four cylinder 1.6-litre turbo direct injection engine that delivers 380 bhp, it’s powerful stuff. Meanwhile Lefebvre is competing in the 2018 WRC 2 Championship in the new Citroën C3 R5, which also has a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.
For the WRX season, it’s the first time that Peugeot have developed their own car in-house to challenge for the title. The Peugeot 208 WRX is lighter and faster than ever, with 580 bhp and a faster gearshift. Improved front suspension and bigger wheels should help it better compete across gravel and tarmac too, while it looks similar to the old Peugeot 206 WRC edition. Loeb and the two Hansen brothers (Timmy and Kevin) will be behind the wheel of each in an unchanged three-driver line-up.
Team Aims and the Seasons So Far
In the Citroën C3 R5, Lefebvre has been set the task of an instant win of the 2018 WRC 2 Championship. However, in the only race so far at the Tour de Corse, the new R5 suffered brake failure in what was a disappointing start. With the latest WRC results it’s not been great either, as Citroën currently sit in last place in the manufacturer standings. Still, Meeke is fifth in the Drivers’ Championship with only four WRC results at the moment and Breen in ninth, so there’s plenty of time to go to mount a comeback.
Peugeot also has its sights on the WRX title. So far there’s only been the opening race in Barcelona where Loeb finished second in the final race, which represents a promising start for the team. Plus, there are plenty more races to build on this.
If you like the rally car style, whether you’re a fan of the Peugeot 206 WRC edition or want something more modern like a new Citroën C3, then you can find a range of similar options both new and used at Robins and Day. Keep checking back on our blog for the latest WRC news as well.
Image courtesy of iStock.