Citroen continues to develop its rally line-up with the addition of the DS3 RRC for use by privateer entrants in a wide variety of competitions.
Faithfully derived from the double World Rally Championship-winning DS3 WRC, the new car is the result of rules that came into force at the start of 2011 allowing manufacturers to produce a Regional Rally Car (RRC) variant of their models. Set to gradually replace cars in the Super 2000 category, these products are intended for use in the championships below the level of the WRC, such as WRC-2 (formerly S-WRC), European Rally Championship (ERC), Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) and some national championships.
Visually, the WRC and RRC models are different because the regulations are more restrictive regarding aerodynamic features on the latter. The bumper intakes are smaller and the rear spoiler complies with the S2000 standards. Under the bonnet, the 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection engine has been slightly modified, with a
specific engine flywheel and a 30mm booster flange compared with 33mm on the WRC. Maximum power output drops to 275bhp as a result. The other significant change concerns the brakes in tarmac configuration, with the diameter reduced from 355mm to 350mm and the water-cooling system removed.
Aside from these changes, the Citroën DS3 RRC maintains all the strengths of its big sister, with a reinforced body with welded, multi-point roll cage offering a high level of safety and resilience, McPherson suspensions and Citroën Racing adjustable shock absorbers, six-speed sequential gearbox and more. Developed over the summer during test sessions on gravel and tarmac, the RRC is now available for leasing from Citroën Racing Technologies, with modest running costs and versatility making it an intermediary option between the DS3 R3 and the DS3 WRC.
Competing this season in the Belgian Championship in a Citroën C4 WRC, Pieter Tsjoen and Eddy Chevaillier will have the honour of driving the DS3 RRC on its competitive debut. Taking part this weekend in the Rallye International du Valais (Switzerland), the crew will take on a field boasting around 15 Super2000 cars. Adopting a format similar to that of the WRC, the event will be held over three legs and will feature a total of 293km of timed stages on typically mountainous roads.