Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Rally - Citroen Racing 2017



Just a few days after the Citroën C3 WRC concept car was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, Citroën Racing has announced the team line-up for the next two seasons of the FIA World Rally Championship.

After confirming Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle at the end of last year, the line-up has now been completed by Craig Breen and Scott Martin and Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau. Chairman of Abu Dhabi Racing, Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi will also be competing with his co-driver Chris Patterson at some events in 2017. 

At the start of the new season, the team will enter two Citroën C3 WRCs: one for Kris Meeke and the other for either Craig Breen or Stéphane Lefebvre, who will alternate driving duties. The exact distribution of events to drivers will be announced at a later stage and Citroën will start entering three cars as soon as possible. The FIA’s World Motorsport Council recently decided it would let manufacturers enter three cars, the top two scoring points towards the Manufacturers World Championship.

At some rounds of the 2017 World Championship, a fourth Citroën C3 WRC will also be entered for Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson.

Bringing this season to a close Citroen Racing have confirmed Meeke, Breen and Al-Qassimi will contest the Rally de España (Mull weekend!) with Meeke, Breen and Lefebvre down to do Rally Wales GB at the end of the month.

Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “We had several scenarios regarding the choice of our crews for the future. Kris Meeke was confirmed at the end of last year and has become the natural leader of the team. As well as challenging for the lead on each of his appearances in 2016, winning in Portugal and in Finland, he has also done most of the development work for our Citroën C3 WRC. In choosing two young crews to complete the line-up, I don’t think we can be accused of having gone for the easy option. But this original solution is very much aligned with Citroën’s mindset. And having seen them compete this season for the Abu Dhabi Total WRT, we believe in the potential of Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre. They have the natural talent, motivation and work ethic to win rallies. I would also say we are proud to take these young drivers – who have been with the PSA Group for many years – up to the top level of the sport. At the start of the season, we’ll have no choice but to have them take turns behind the wheel in the second Citroën C3 WRC. However, as soon as possible, our three crews will be starting each round. Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi is a true ambassador for rallying in the Middle-East and we are very pleased to support him in his approach.”

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