Four Citroen DS3 WRCs planned for Sweden
"But I can’t tell you who will be in the second team because we need to secure the budget first"
Citroen Racing boss Olivier Quesnel says he is confident that four of the French firm’s DS3 World Rally Cars will contest next year’s World Rally Championship opener in Sweden from February 10-13.
Although Citroen has long-since revealed the identity of its main team, with Sebastien Ogier joining seven-time champion Sebastien Loeb in a pair of DS3 WRCs, the line-up of its second squad has yet to be finalised and has been the subject of considerable speculation in recent weeks.
“We will have two teams next year but I can’t tell you who will be in the second team because we need to secure the budget first,” said Quesnel. “That means for Dani Sordo we would have to find 100 per cent of the budget if he was to continue with Citroen and that is very complicated. It is the same for Kimi Raikkonen.”
Quesnel, who has spoken of his desire to include former world title-winner Petter Solberg in Citroen’s second team in 2011 after the Norwegian competed in a privately-run Citroen C4 WRC this season, says he has received several approaches from interested drivers.
“We have a lot of demand but we would prefer to have the drivers with the budget who are also very fast,” said Quesnel. “We would be very pleased with Kimi and Petter and I think they would have the priority but in the end we will see. Last year, at this time, we didn’t have any customer so I am not worried. We will just have to wait but I am sure we will have two cars in the second team, even though it is quite complicated."
Quesnel has confirmed that a maximum of four DS3 WRCs will compete in Sweden as part of a decision by Citroen not to make the car available to private customers in the first season of use.
Meanwhile Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson is still working on plans for up to 10 Fiesta RS WRCs to be ready in time for Rally Sweden. “We’re not there yet but it’s possible,” said Wilson.
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