Versatile, high-performance and affordable are the main qualities synonymous with DS3 R3. Since its launch in 2010, Citroën’s two-wheel drive powerhouse has not stopped demonstrating its abilities. A product of Citroën Racing’s expertise, this true racing car has established itself as the benchmark in its category at European level. The hundredth DS3 R3 has just rolled out of the Versailles workshop in order to line up for the Rallye Cantabria in Spain.
Beyond its symbolic value, the completion of the hundredth DS3 R3, which will compete in the Spanish Championship in the expert hands of Enrique Garcia Ojeda, procured a sense of satisfaction and achievement for the Customer Racing team. Less than two years after its competitive debut in Ireland, the success of the car is plain for all to see.
“We had decided to present the car both in France and abroad half-way through the 2010 season,” recalled Jean-François Liénéré, Customer Racing Programme Manager for Citroën Racing. “We wanted the car to deal with very specific conditions and road surfaces in order to highlight its ability to adapt, but we also selected different drivers. For example, Bryan Bouffier, Kris Meeke, Elwis Chentre, Marc Amourette, Stéphane Sarrazin, Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier took it in turns to compete in unusual and varied events such as the Ulster Rally in Ireland, the Rallye San Remo in Italy, the Rallye du Valais in Switzerland and on the roads and tracks of rallies held in France. Five category wins ended up being claimed in these rallies. DS3 R3 had made a promising start.”
Since then, the car has been sold throughout Europe and beyond due to the fact that a dozen or so countries have created a Citroën Racing Trophy. The car has also competed in other events in New Caledonia, Austria and Finland. It established itself as the leading car in its category in 2011, securing the Italian, UK and French championships (11 wins in the “two-wheel drive” class and two runner-up sports in the 13 national tarmac and gravel rounds). 2012 looks set to be just as successful, having already racked up around twenty wins thus far.
“If you look at how things have gone so far, you realise that in addition to the performances it has achieved, DS3 R3 has been a real commercial success”, emphasized Marek Nawarecki, Customer Racing Manager for Citroën Racing. “It is now involved in all types of competitions: national championships and prestigious WRC events, in both France and the rest of Europe such as in the Belux countries, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and also further afield. The fact that our hundredth car has been delivered in Spain is yet another step forward. In tough economic times like these, Citroën DS3 R3 has acquired a reputation for offering the best balance between competitiveness, reliability and affordability. And we don’t want to rest on our laurels; this is a product that we are going to continue to develop in the coming years in order to support our customers more effectively in their challenges.”