After completing the post-rally technical scrutineering, the Rally de Portugal Stewards were issued with a report from the FIA Technical Delegate which had identified differences in between the homologation sheet and two components on the No. 2 Citroën DS3 WRC.
After receiving representatives from Citroën Racing, the Stewards excluded Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, who had finished first.
Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, Citroën Racing Technical Director and Deputy Team Principal: “The scrutineers identified differences in between the homologation sheet and two components: the clutch and the turbocharger. The Citroën DS3 WRCs clutch mechanisms are homologated with lightening holes. Our supplier recently provided us with a batch of parts that were not perforated and one of them was fitted to the no.2 DS3 WRC. These parts don’t provide any gain in terms of performance, as they are heavier than those which are homologated. Regarding the turbocharger, which is a standard part on all World Rally Cars, the wheel turbine dimension exceed the maximum authorized. This difference comes from dilatation, as the wheel is subject to extreme temperature and rpm factors.”
Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “We had no intention whatsoever to cheat and the decision appears out of proportion. Given the fact that the reported differences didn’t bring us any advantage, we’ve decided to appeal. At the moment, most of all I feel sorry for Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, who produced a superb performance on a particularly difficult rally. They really deserved their first win with us. All I can do, on behalf of the entire team, is offer my sincere apologies for this situation. I hope that Mikko and Jarmo will have the chance to top the podium again very soon. ”