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Citroën DS in rally motorsports

Citroën DS in rally motorsports

PSA originally consisted of three automobile brands, Peugeot, Citroën, and the soon dropped Talbot, but none was a premium brand. Since 1976, PSA has experimented with differentiating the brands by price level.

PSA originally consisted of three automobile brands, Peugeot, Citroën, and the soon dropped Talbot, but none was a premium brand. Since 1976, PSA has experimented with differentiating the brands by price level.
DS is the premium brand of Groupe PSA. The DS marque was first announced in early 2009 by Citroën as a premium sub-brand added to certain models, with DS being an abbreviation of Different Spirit or Distinctive Series (although the reference to the historical Citroën DS is evident), to run in parallel to its mainstream cars.
The DS may seem like an unlikely rally car – it was too big, too heavy, not fast enough, too complicated, unreliable – or so logic would imply. Conventional logic does not always apply to Citroëns however and the DS and ID proved to be formidable opponents – especially when the going got rough. They excelled on poor terrain, beating much more powerful competition and thereby proving that the vehicle was robust and reliable. Drivers seemed divided in their choice between manual and hydraulic cars – many claimed the hydraulic shift was faster than the
manual.

Hydraulic systems in Citroën DS automobiles
In conventional cars, hydraulics are only used in brakes and power steering. In the DS they were also used for the suspension, clutch and transmission. The cheaper 1957 ID19 did have manual steering and a simplified power-braking system. An engine driven pump pressurizes the closed system to 2,400 pounds per square inch.
At a time when few passenger vehicles had independent suspension on all wheels, the application of the hydraulic system to the car’s suspension system to provide a self-levelling system was an innovative move. This suspension allowed the car to achieve sharp handling combined with very high ride quality, frequently compared to a “magic carpet

Citroën DS born champion
The DS was successful in motorsports like rallying, where sustained speeds on poor surfaces are paramount, and won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1959. In the 1000 Lakes Rally, Pauli Toivonen drove a DS19 to victory in 1962.
1963 was the year that Citroën totally dominated rallying – the Monte Carlo – 2nd place – Toivonen, 4th place – Bianchi & Ogier, 5th place – Neyret & Terramorsi, 7th place – De Lageneste & Dugenestoux, 10th place – Verrier & Alexandre. Citroën, with five placings in the top ten won the Constructor’s Cup needless to say. Not content with that, the invincible Citroëns went on to win in the Rallye Lyon – Charbonnières, the Liège – Sofia – Liège Marathon, the Coupe des Alpes, Routes du Nord, Tour de Corse and Rallye du Mont Blanc. Lucien Bianchi was the Belgian Rally Champion while Trautmann won the French Championship. Claudine Bouchet won the French Ladies Championship for the 4th time. The moral winner of the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon was Lucien Bianchi in his DS 21. After 15,000km across Europe, Asia and Australia, he was a day ahead of Andrew Cowan in a Hillman Hunter; 50 km/30 miles outside Sydney he was involved in a collision and wrote the car off. His victory had already been announced. Cowan went on to win. Due to its parlous financial state, Citroën reduced its involvement in motor sport in 1974 but the Australian team of Welinski, Tubman & Reddiex won the World Cup Wembley to Munich rally in a DS 23. The DS’s final victory was in 1975 when Deschasseaux & Plassard were placed 4th overall in the Rallye du Maroc and 1st in the Tourism Class. The CX was to take up the mantle the same year in the Rallye Côte d’Ivoire – Côte d’Azur – but that’s another story.