Thursday, 19 November 2015

Citroën Racing set for WRC shake-up

After announcing an end to their WTCC involvement, Citroën Racing's WRC effort is set to go through some big changes too.

The French team will sit out the 2016 season in order to develop a new-for-2017 car built to the new WRC regulations which will be introduced that year. The car, which will likely be a lot more dramatic in appearance compared tot he current DS3 WRC will take advantage of the WTCC car's engine development which will continue through next year.

"The category is taking off again, with increasingly widespread live television coverage and the arrival of China on the calendar in 2016," said Citroën CEO Linda Jackson.

"In 2017, the appearance of a new generation of cars, which are purported to be very attractive, will coincide with our renewed involvement."

The decision to continue in the WRC could be seen as something of a surprise considering the marque's dominance of the WTCC in the last two years, whereas they have only won a single rally event during the same time.

Who will drive for Citroën Racing in 2017 is currently up in the air. Mads Ostberg has left the team after two season with the desire to compete in a full WRC campaign in 2016 behind the decision.

Negotiations are currently ongoing with 2015 Rally Argentina winner Kris Meeke who could run a partial campaign next year ahead of a full-time return in 2017. The Northern Irishman is however also being linked with a move to Hyundai motorsport.

There is no word on whether Stephane Lefebvre will be part of the team going forward although he is expected to be retained.

Images: Dominik Wilde

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