The CitroŽn DS3 R3 takes up the challenge
CitroŽn DS3 R3 Ė Ulster Rally / 20-21 August 2010

The Ulster Rally gets underway in one week, based in Antrim to the north east of Ireland. The start of this event will have a special significance for the DS3 R3, which makes its competition debut. The crew of Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri are determined to showcase the capabilities of the latest challenger from CitroŽn to the best of their abilities.

Behind the scenes, the entire CitroŽn Racing team is eager to see their car in action, which was created in the French companyís workshops and then developed over a bespoke test programme. But this will be the first time that the DS3 goes head to head with its rivals, before being offered for sale to customers. In a baptism of fire, CitroŽnís latest two-wheel drive machine, equipped with a 210-horsepower engine, will rack up its first competitive miles on extremely specialised terrain. Irish asphalt is notorious for its lack of grip and bumpy surfaces, which the new car will face over the 205 stage kilometres of the rally. The famously changeable weather in Ulster could also play a key role over the course of the event. Whatever happens, French driver Bryan Bouffier Ė who was an important part of the new carís development programme Ė will be doing his best to take the DS3 R3 towards the top of the leaderboard, although he will face considerably more powerful local opposition.

Jean-FranÁois Liťnťrť, in charge of customer competition at CitroŽn Racing, commented: ďWhile we have been very pleased with our progress in testing, nothing replicates real competition. The Ulster Rally is a very tricky event where competitors have to deal with narrow roads that offer little grip. The variable weather conditions in Ireland are capable of springing both nice and nasty surprises so these are sure to be a determining factor in the outcome of the rally. The ideal result for us in Antrim would be to win Group R and finish in the top five overall. From a sporting point of view, Ireland and Great Britain are very important customer competition markets for our company. CitroŽn has a strong presence thanks to the CitroŽn Racing Trophy, which boasts a high profile and several top quality drivers. These people are very interested in the new DS3 R3 and I believe that our latest challenger will live up to all their expectations.Ē

Not only the drivers, but also thousands of fans are looking forward to seeing the new CitroŽn out in anger for the first time next week. The cars will be flagged off the ramp for the start of the Ulster Rally in the early afternoon of Friday 20 August.

Three questions toÖ Bryan Bouffier
Youíve been chosen for the competition debut of the CitroŽn DS3. How are you going to approach this event?
I was the first driver to test the CitroŽn DS3 R3 and now it is a great honour for me to be at the wheel when it has its first taste of competition. Iím going to start this rally hugely motivated, with my objective being to show the world just how fantastic this new car is.

This will be the first time that you have competed on a rally in Ireland. Have you already driven on similar surfaces?
Itís true that this is going to be a completely new experience for me: Iíve never had the chance before to contest any British or Irish Championship events. The roads in Ireland are well known for being bumpy with several jumps throughout the rally. But Iím not worried at all: I know that the DS3 R3 will be very forgiving and consistent on these types of roads, whatever the conditions.

You helped to develop the DS3 R3. What do you think of the car?
From the very first time I drove it, my feeling was immediately good. The CitroŽn DS3 R3 is easy to drive and itís a huge pleasure to be behind the wheel. There are some interesting technical innovations as well. Iím thinking in particular of the hard work we accomplished on the suspension, but also on the torque from the engine and the sequential gearshift. All this makes the DS3 R3 a really formidable machine.

Useful information
Ulster Rally (20-21 August)
Surface: asphalt
Where: Antrim
Practical information: The service park is located at the ďInternational Outlet Shopping CentreĒ (GPS N 54 43.781 and W 06 13.840). Rally HQ and the media centre are located at the Holiday Inn Express (Junction One International Shopping Centre, Ballymena Road, Antrim, BT41 4LL: GPS N 54 43.683 and W 06 13.567). There is a one-hour time difference between Ireland and central Europe, so when it is 1100 in Antrim, it will be 1200 in France. On the first day of the rally the sun will rise at 0608 and set at 2044. The local currency is the pound sterling (1 EUR = 0.82 GBP).
Reconnaissance: This will take place on Thursday 19 August from 0900 to 2200.
Start: Friday 20 August, leaving the service park at 1315.
Route: The route has a total length of 686.2 kilometres, of which 204.6 kilometres are competitive. There are 14 special stages (seven different stages).
Timing: Day 1 Ė 325 kilometres of which 85 kilometres are competitive (6 special stages Ė 3 different stages) Day 2 Ė 361.3 kilometres of which 119.5 kilometres are competitive (8 stages Ė 4 different stages).
Final podium: Saturday 21 August from 1715.

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