March 4, 2018



After the bitterly cold temperatures of Sweden, where Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT secured its first podium of 2018, the World Rally Championship heads across the Atlantic to the milder climate and high altitudes of Mexico, the setting for this year's third round.

Mexico sees the much anticipated return of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, who line up alongside Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle as the team looks to confirm its good start to the season.

With seven wins from the thirteen times the rally has been contested as part of the WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT has the experience required to do well at this, the third round of the season and the first on gravel. This is especially the case as this year’s line-up features Kris Meeke – Paul Nagle, who scored the brand’s most recent win here last year, and Sébastien Loeb – Daniel Elena, who claimed the first six (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012).

Whilst he initially made the most of his road position to lead in the early stages in 2017, Kris Meeke then did more than just hold off the consistent attacks of the now five-time world champion. He went on to secure a deserved maiden win for the C3 WRC, despite a major scare in the last few meters.

The local roads are reputed for their variety and for the opportunities they offer the teams to really express themselves. However, they also feature a fine layer of sandy gravel that tends to be swept clean as more cars complete the stages, which is why it is so important to have a good first day. Tyre choice may have a significant influence on the outcome… With less wear than usual, due both to the sandy, loose ground and the reduced power of the cars, teams and drivers often end up hesitating – despite the heat – between Michelin’s hard and soft tyres. Yet another difficulty at an event that is hardly lacking in that department!


Kris Meeke

“Mexico is a bit like Catalonia, one of the gravel rallies where we were pretty competitive last year. Since then, we have made further improvements to the C3 WRC, so I have high hopes that we can get among the frontrunners. Of course, a lot of our rivals had reliability issues related to the altitude last year and are bound to be a lot better prepared this time around. It’s definitely an event that I like: as the full power of the cars is not available, you have to be as clean as possible in your driving. I’m also pretty pleased with our recent tests. We seem to have made more progress, especially on the dampers in conjunction with Öhlins. That was Sébastien’s impression too. In any case, I’m really looking forward to it. We need to make the most of running seventh on the road on day one – that will be key in getting a good result.”

Number of appearances at the event: 3

Best result: 1st (2017)

Sébastien Loeb

“This is a rally that I have always loved, so I have high hopes I will enjoy these stages in the C3 WRC, which is an exciting car to drive. Other than that, I have the same uncertainties as everyone else: although I hope to be more or less on the pace, I have no idea where I stand in relation to the other drivers, so I can’t wait to get started! You have to bear in mind that this is still the world championship! The other drivers haven’t stood still over the last few years… In any case, I’m pleased with the testing we did. I covered almost 500 kilometres in two days. I found the C3 WRC well balanced and I felt that it had improved again since my last test outing at the end of 2017. I have tried to give myself every chance by spending some time in a DS3 WRC beforehand to get the feeling and my reflexes back, and by watching some onboard video footage from previous rallies. 28% of the course is going to be new to me, compared with just 4% for the others, but that’s pretty positive because it is one of the events I still know best. However, my memories of the 72% that I have driven before go back six years, so I’ve done a little bit of work so that I don’t feel completely disorientated. I hope my position in Friday’s running order (11th) will help me to get my bearings because with the current regulations, you really need to have a good first day, otherwise your rally suffers.”

Number of appearances at the event: 8

Best result: 1st (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)



22 timed stages covering a total of 344,49 km
2,737 metres above sea level for the highest point of the rally, compared with 1,786 metres at the base in Leon
7 overall wins secured by Citroën at Rally Mexico: six with Loeb-Elena (2006 in a Xsara WRC, 2007, 2008 and 2010 in a C4 WRC, 2011 and 2012 in a DS3 WRC) and one with Meeke-Nagle (2017 in a C3 WRC)
10 % the percentage loss of power for every 1,000 meters above sea level