Citroen chasing Ogier, Lappi, Breen line-up for 2019 WRC season

Citroen appears to be stepping up its efforts to secure a 2019 World Rally Championship driver line-up that includes Sebastien Ogier, Esapekka Lappi and Craig Breen

Citroen chasing Ogier, Lappi, Breen line-up for 2019 WRC season

Discussions with Ogier about a potential return to Citroen have been ongoing for weeks, but talks with Toyota driver Lappi are understood to be escalating.

While five-time WRC champion Ogier - currently at M-Sport Ford - remains Citroen's primary target, failure to land him would place an even greater emphasis on signing Lappi.

The Finn's manager first met with Citroen team principal Pierre Budar in June and 27-year-old Lappi is understood to have visited the factory to inspect Citroen Racing and the C3 WRC last month.

In addition to the Citroen interest, Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has made Lappi an offer for next season and reiterated his desire to retain last year's Rally Finland winner alongside Jari-Matti Latvala and Ott Tanak into 2019.

Lappi's manager Erik Veiby confirmed the Toyota offer, but added there were also talks elsewhere.

"Esapekka is doing his job and performing as well as possible for Toyota, his employer at the moment," Veiby told Autosport.

"I can confirm we have received an offer from Toyota and we are in discussions with other teams about next year, but we have not signed anything."

Citroen's current drivers Breen and Mads Ostberg are both out of agreement at the end of the season but working to stay on.

Breen's year started well with second in Sweden, but he then had to miss two rounds to make way for Sebastien Loeb and has since suffered myriad issues early in rallies.

Citroen insists it has signed no deals for next year and does not anticipate making any announcements in September.

A spokesperson told Autosport: "Nothing has changed. Talks are still going on."


shares
comments
Ex-Citroen WRC driver Kris Meeke returns for RallyLegend event

Previous article

Ex-Citroen WRC driver Kris Meeke returns for RallyLegend event

Next article

Petter Solberg could drive new Volkswagen WRC2 car for its debut

Petter Solberg could drive new Volkswagen WRC2 car for its debut
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier , Craig Breen , Esapekka Lappi
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021