Meeke and Lefebvre to compete at Rallye Monte-Carlo
With Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team
By entering two DS 3 WRCs at Rallye Monte-Carlo (18-24 January 2016), the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team will provide Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau with the opportunity to develop their experience at the opening round of the 2016 World Rally Championship.
Incorporating a selection of WRC rallies based in Europe, the programme of the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team will serve as a transitional stage before Citroën Racing returns as a works team in 2017. Prepared by the PH Sport team, the DS 3 WRCs will be entrusted to various drivers, including Kris Meeke, Stéphane Lefebvre, Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qassimi. Between one and three cars may be entered at each of the rounds chosen, depending on the event and the opportunities that arise.
"After a successful three-year partnership with Citroën, we are pleased to maintain our presence in the WRC," commented Khalid Al-Qassimi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Racing. "It’s a programme that has been approved by Citroën Racing and which benefits from the expertise of PH Sport. As lead driver, Kris Meeke will contest several rounds, whilst prioritising his development work with Citroën Racing. We will also be aiming to provide opportunities for talented young drivers from the PSA Peugeot Citroën group. Supported by the expertise of the team, they will be able to add to their experience and show what they can do."
To get the season underway, two DS 3 WRCs will be entered at Rallye Monte-Carlo. The first will be driven by Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle. This will be a seventh appearance here for the Northern Irishman, whose best result was a third place finish in 2014. In the second car, Stéphane Lefebvre will make his competitive debut alongside new co-driver Gabin Moreau. Last year, the Frenchman made the perfect start to his season by winning the WRC2 class in a DS 3 R5.
Three cars will then be entered at Rally Sweden (11-14 February) for Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson and Craig Breen/Scott Martin. The Irishman will be making his debut outing in the DS 3 WRC, but he will have the advantage of competing at a rally he really enjoys. After two good performances in the Super 2000 category cars in 2011 and 2012, he secured a top-ten finish in 2014 on his first outing in a World Rally Car. Kris Meeke finished seventh overall in Sweden last year, whilst Khalid Al Qassimi’s best result was tenth place in 2011.
"Being able to contest a certain number of rallies in 2016 was important when deciding about my future," reiterated Kris Meeke. "I would therefore like to thank Abu Dhabi, Total and all the partners who have made it possible for us compete in very good conditions at these events. This programme will enable me to keep my hand in as regards racing and continue to learn about the WRC events. From that point of view, it seemed essential to compete at Monte-Carlo. It is such an unpredictable rally, where experience counts more than anywhere else. I can’t wait to get back into the car for pre-event testing to prepare for this first race."
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