Citroën adds Spain to 2016 campaign
Meeke, Breen and Al-Qassimi return
The Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team has added the RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (13-16 October) to its limited programme of WRC rallies this year, as Citroën prepares for a full-time comeback in 2017.
The rally’s 70-strong entry list, released today, confirms that the squad will run DS 3 WRCs for Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and team patron Khalid Al-Qassimi. The Spanish counter will be the sixth championship appearance of the season for Meeke, who will lead Citroën’s driver line-up in 2017.
The entry list also confirms the WRC return of Czech privateer Martin Prokop, whose last outing at Rally Italia Sardegna ended acrimoniously when he was hit with a five-minute penalty for infringing regulations about transmission sealing. The penalty was later annulled by the FIA when Prokop’s Jipocar team proved it had not broken the rules.
Prokop and the Abu Dhabi driver trio join a strong field of 17 World Rally Cars, headed by the manufacturer squads from Volkswagen, Hyundai and M-Sport.
Three-time world champion Sébastien Ogier leads the VW entries, with Jari-Matti Latvala and last year’s Spanish rally winner Andreas Mikkelsen. Hyundai has entered four i20 WRCs in the hands of Thierry Neuville, home crowd favourite Dani Sordo, Hayden Paddon and Kevin Abbring. M-Sport will run two Ford Fiesta RS WRCs for Mads Østberg and Eric Camilli.
There are entries too for DMACK World Rally Team driver Ott Tänak, FWRT team leader Lorenzo Bertelli and Henning Solberg, all of whom will drive Ford Fiesta RS WRCs.
There are a total of 19 entrants in the WRC 2 category, including Skoda Fabias for championship front-runners Teemu Suninen, Armin Kremer and Pontus Tidemand. The WRC 3 class has six entrants, led by veteran driver Michel Fabre (Citroën DS 3) and the Italians Fabio Andolfi and Damiano De Tommaso in Peugeot 208s.
Last but not least, the winner of the single-make cup Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy will be decided in Spain, when the season wraps up with a final clash between the men in first and second place, Osian Pryce and Max Vatanen.
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