Final flourish for Abu Dhabi Total WRT in Wales

Final flourish for Abu Dhabi Total WRT in Wales

21.10.2016: At its final event of the season, the Abu Dhabi Total WRT lines up at the start of Wales Rally





At its final event of the season, the Abu Dhabi Total WRT lines up at the start of Wales Rally GB with four cars. For their home round – or as near as they come to one on the WRC calendar – Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Craig Breen/Scott Martin are guaranteed to enjoy huge support from the British fans.



Alongside co-driver Gilles de Turckheim, Stéphane Lefebvre makes his competitive return in a WRC, whilst Quentin Gilbert and Renaud Jamoul make their debut in the sport’s top category after spending the season competing in the WRC-2.



Wales Rally GB is one of the unmissable events on the WRC calendar. This year, it won’t be the final round of the World Championship, but it is here that the season concludes for the Abu Dhabi Total WRT.



Created to manage the transitional period before the return of Citroën as a works team in 2017, the team has taken part in eight European rounds of the WRC, from Monte-Carlo to Wales.



With two wins, obtained by Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in Portugal and Finland, it has been an incredibly successful year from a sporting point of view, regardless of what happens in Wales!



As a final flourish, Abu Dhabi Total WRT is set to contest the British round with a four-car line-up. This will be a special race – a symbolic and emotional event – for all four crews, but above all it will be the final opportunity for them to showcase their skills on one of the most challenging outings of the season.



In what will be his ninth appearance at the rally, Kris Meeke heads for Wales as the team’s most experienced driver. Last year, he finished runner-up here after a solid performance, during which he avoided the many pitfalls of the course.



On the same day, Craig Breen finished his fifth Wales Rally GB on the podium in the WRC-2. Having moved up a class with the Abu Dhabi Total WRT this season, the Irishman will be keen to confirm his growing confidence on a rally where he has always done well in the past.



Ill throughout the first leg of last year’s rally, Stéphane Lefebvre was not able to fully exploit the potential of his WRC. He nonetheless set some impressive times towards the end of the race and finished in eighth position.





 Two months after Rallye Deutschland, the Frenchman returns to action with the same aim in mind as Kris and Craig: prepare for the future!



The three Citroën Racing works drivers for 2017 will be joined by a new team-mate in Wales, Quentin Gilbert. Having competed at Wales Rally GB in the last three years, the 2015 FIA Junior WRC also likes this event.



 Promoted for his overall performance in the WRC-2 this season, he will be competing in his first World Championship rally in a WRC.




Next Monday, Stéphane Lefebvre and Quentin Gilbert will take part in a test day, designed to get them (back) into the swing of things before the start of recce!



As has been the case in recent years, the service park will be based in Deeside. Following the Clocaenog shakedown and the ceremonial start, held on Thursday evening at the Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay, the competitors will have their hands full on the opening two days, both contested without a mid-leg service.



Part of the event for many years, the Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Dyfi stages will be run in the oppose direction to usual. Others, such as Dyfnant, Gartheiniog or Alwen, will be identical to 2015.



The organisers have also come up with a few surprises, starting with the Pantperthog stage, which has not been part of the event for more than twenty years! The rally is scheduled to finish on Sunday in Llandudno, after a short final leg.



COMING UP




Thursday, 27 October: Shakedown at Clocaenog Forest at 8am.


Ceremonial start in Colwyn Bay (Eirias Park) at 6.30pm.


Friday, 28 October: start at 5.30am from Deeside.


Finish in Deeside at 8.30pm following eight stages covering a total of 179.06km.


Saturday, 29 October: start at 5.45am from Deeside.


Finish in Deeside at 4.55pm following eight stages covering a total of 101.73km.


Sunday, 30 October: start at 7.20am from Deeside.


Finish in Llandudno at 1.30pm following six stages covering a total of 52.08km.
 
 





Jérôme Roussel- photo Citroen

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/abu-dhabi-total-wrt-wales-gb-rally---156848.html

21.10.2016 / MaP

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