Citroen to retain Loeb and Ogier

Citroen Racing has confirmed both Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier will drive for the French manufacturer in next year's World Rally Championship - ending Ford's hopes of clinching a 2011 deal with Ogier

Citroen to retain Loeb and Ogier

Ogier will replace Dani Sordo as Loeb's team-mate full-time next season, although the Rally of Potugal winner will step up to the Citroen Total World Rally for next week's Rally Finland and for the remainder of the gravel rounds this season. Sordo will remain a Citroen driver next season, but his deal has yet to be concluded. Ogier's agreement binds him to Citroen for the next three years.

Loeb had a way out of his Citroen contract at the end of this season, but he has signed up for an 11th year with the team which has guided him to a record-breaking six world titles.

Citroen Racing team principal Olivier Quesnel said: "Obviously, it's a double dose of satisfaction for Citroen Racing. Not content to have the greatest set of results in the history of rallying, Sebastien Loeb is still as hungry as ever for more victories and titles. His experience, his race intelligence, and his capacity to get 100 per cent out his cars, will be all the more crucial as we'll have a new car next season.

"Citroen Racing has been preparing for the future with Sebastien Ogier for some time now. This is why we wanted to sign a contract with him for the next three seasons. Dani Sordo is still part of our plans for next year, but we have to finalise our budgets before announcing the full programme."

Loeb added that he still felt as committed as ever despite the incredible success he had already achieved.

"My contract with Citroen allowed me to stop at the end of this year. But my motivation and my will to win are still as strong as ever," he said.

"The 2011 season will be my eleventh in the works Citroen colours. I think that the world championship will be a very interesting one, as the arrival of a new generation of cars will reshuffle the cards among the manufacturers.

"Of course, it's no secret that we're already working flat out on the new Citroen DS3, and I can't wait to see where it stands in relation to its rivals. In the meantime, winning my seventh consecutive world title is my main objective."

Ogier had received offers from both Ford and Citroen, but did not take long to decide to remain with his current employer.

"I'd like to thank Citroen for renewing its confidence in me, and what's more, for three seasons," he said. "I made my world championship debut with this team, and I've always said that my priority was to stay with them.

"I'm thrilled at the idea of driving the new generation World Rally Cars, and of defending the colours of the make at the topmost level. Like Sebastien, I'm fully concentrated on the end of this season starting with the Finnish Rally, where I'll be part of the Citroen Total World Rally Team for the first time."

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