Citroën will not be competing in the 2016 WRC as a works team

Citroën maps out its sporting future

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By Olivier Ferret

19 November 2015 - 12:17
Citroën will not be competing in the (...)

 As it unveiled its future in motor sport, Citroën announced it will be taking part in the World Rally Championship from 2017.

 The team’s entry will be based on a model designed in line with the FIA’s new technical regulations. In order to dedicate as many resources as possible to development of the new car, the Citroën Racing team will be putting its participation in the WRC on hold next season.

Citroën has won an incredible fifteen world titles over the last twenty-two years, between 1993 and 2015: five in the Cross Country Rally World Cup, eight in the WRC and two in the WTCC. Contributing to the renewal and growth of the company, and to developing a new Brand image, success in motor sport has become hard-coded in Citroën’s DNA.

As the 2015 season draws to a close, Citroën outlined plans for its next challenge, chosen to sustain values it holds dear: team spirit, pushing yourself to the limits and creativity. In line with the strategy defined by Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Management Board, the Brand will concentrate its sporting commitments on a single worldwide programme.

After an in-depth study of all the current motor sport categories, Citroën has chosen to compete in the FIA World Rally Championship. This may almost appear to be the obvious choice if you look at the Brand’s past success in the sport, but it is one which is above all focused on the future.

“With eight world titles and a record 94 wins, Citroën has certainly enjoyed unrivalled success in the WRC,” reiterated Linda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of the Citroën Brand. “Rallying is a fascinating sport, which tests the performance, reliability and solidity of the cars and drivers in some magnificent settings. The category is taking off again, with increasingly widespread live television coverage and the arrival of China on the calendar in 2016. In 2017, the appearance of a new generation of cars, which are purported to be very attractive, will coincide with our renewed involvement. Everything will therefore be in place for us to write a new chapter in our history. Given the brand’s rich heritage, this challenge had to be ambitious. We will however be modest in our approach, gradually stepping up our objectives to the very top.”

Wider, more powerful and more impressive, with imposing aerodynamic features, the 2017 generation World Rally Cars will therefore succeed the cars that first appeared in 2011. This radical change in the regulations will enable Citroën Racing to compete on equal terms with its rivals, after devoting 2016 to development of the new model.

“We have never hidden our interest in the 2017 WRC regulations and the entire team is extremely motivated by this new challenge,” commented Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal. “We like the freedom granted to make the cars more spectacular, but also the possibility of reusing development work done on the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC’s engine. With a view to managing our resources efficiently, we have decided to focus all our efforts on designing and developing our new World Rally Car. This is why Citroën will not be competing in the 2016 World Rally Championship as a works team. We will obviously be keeping a close eye on the WRC, both with the organisation of the FIA Junior WRC and with the WRC2 programme for Quentin Gilbert, this year’s JWRC Champion.”

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