Citroën Racing arrives at the Rally of Portugal with the intention of revenge, a feeling lawful after his unfortunate role in Argentina where Craig Breen had to leave and Kris Meeke did not get past the seventh position. Perhaps for this reason, the French brand comes to the first european event on gravel with a bet on enhanced, every time that for the occasion will count with the Norwegian Mads Ostberg among its roster of pilots. It will be the second participation of Mads with the Citroen C3 WRC after competing with the team in Rally Sweden, testing in the winter season of WRC in which he signed a positive sixth position.
Kris Meeke will be the spearhead of Citroën once more. The pilot in northern ireland has taken part in the Rally of Portugal, up to four times, enough to know the victory, while Meeke won in the edition of 2016. Now, it is turn to get back to show its best version: “After two demonstrations quite specific in the gravel of the Rally of Mexico and Argentina, Portugal will be the first real test in terms of absolute performance. As the stages have not changed from last year, everyone has the notes of step and the same knowledge of the tramos“.
In this aspect, Meeke knows that the small details mark the differences in the stages located to the north of Portugal, so I will try to take advantage of the nuances that play in your favor, as his place of departure: “I’m going to try to take advantage of my sixth output position to the sections of the first day. It is a rally I like very much and I have great hopes of to be able to show the progress that our Citroën C3 WRC has made in this area, as I did in Argentina although the result was not the desired”.
Craig Breen has competed five times in the Rally of Portugal, to test it, you have found good feelings in the past. In fact, the irish finished in fifth position in last year’s edition: “I have good memories of 2017. We were fast, especially Friday, so much so that we were not very far from the best to the put the end to the first stage. The stages are fantastic and the fans are very passionate, there are a lot of people in each curve”.
Breen faces his fourth rally of the season after not being present in Mexico and in the Tour de Corse where he competed Sébastien Loeb with the team. For this reason, Craig is eager to be able to fight for great objectives: “I would love to fight for a place on the podium. We were not so far away in Argentina, despite our lack of experience. Then we had to leave. However, this time we want to achieve that level of performance from beginning to end, not to make mistakes and turn all of that in a good resultado“.
Mads Ostberg treasure ten entries in the Rally of Portugal and a victory, harvested in 2012, and at that time became the first victory of a private pilot since 1993: “I’m very happy to be back in the team. The Rally of Portugal is special to me because it is the only rally in the WRC that I’ve managed to win, although it was in the Algarve. This year my approach will be a little more cautious, so the first goal is to reach the end without any problem. It is also take a big boost to compete in Sardinia”.