Citroen could cut its 2016 WRC programme to as little as six events

Citroen could contest as few as six rounds of 2016 World Rally Championship season, but is looking more likely to commit to '17 and beyond

Citroen could cut its 2016 WRC programme to as little as six events

The French manufacturer declared earlier this year that it would drop either its WRC or World Touring Car Championship factory commitment after next season.

Speculation is now rife that it will be the WRC programme that is retained, but the announcement of a 14-round 2016 calendar has brought increased financial burden on all of the teams.

A combination of the calendar expansion alongside developing a car for the new rules package in 2017 is understood to have prompted Citroen to consider reducing its programme next year.

Team principal Yves Matton said budget for the season was the main concern.

"The way the calendar is set up it needs an increase in the budget," he told Autosport.

"The problem is if you miss an event, you cannot enter the WRC as a manufacturer."

Asked if entering as a manufacturer remained of paramount importance, Matton said: "It depends on what we will do in 2017."

WRC Promoter chief Oliver Ciesla admitted to fears of this kind of reaction after the FIA rejected his proposal of 13 rallies in 2016.

"I do not want to speculate if teams not doing the full championship is going to happen or not, but this argument is not a new one," he said.

"This was the reason we proposed a 13-event calendar for next year.

"We were talking to the teams, listening to them and we understood the constraints they had and this was reflected in our proposal."

M-Sport's Malcolm Wilson said he could see Citroen's argument for a part-programme, with his concerns based around the loaded second-half of the 2016 calendar.

"It's not until you sit down and really look at the calendar and see that, with our 2017 car not running until the second half of the year, it's looking really quite tricky," he said.

"It's really starting to dawn on us all now, the consequences of this 14-round calendar and the way it's been structured.

"Some of the guys here have looked at the calendar and are now saying: 'OK, how do we resource it, how do we do it?'

"The density of calendar allied to the new car development - which has to be the priority - gives us some difficult decisions."

shares
comments
Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak could share 2016 M-Sport WRC Ford seat
Previous article

Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak could share 2016 M-Sport WRC Ford seat

Next article

Citroen picks WRC over WTCC from 2017, to miss '16 WRC season

Citroen picks WRC over WTCC from 2017, to miss '16 WRC season
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021