Citroen will quit next year

Citroen Sport has confirmed that it has ceased development on the C4 WRC, which was scheduled to replace the multiple-title winning Xsara WRC, dashing any hopes that the French manufacturer might stay in the sport beyond next year

Citroen will quit next year

Citroen's parent company, the PSA Group, announced last month that it would withdraw its world championship-winning team, and its sister marque Peugeot, at the end of 2005. Although Peugeot was always certain to quit, there was on-going speculation that Citroen might stay on in the WRC if it could find ways of cutting its operating budget by 50 per cent. But the cancellation of the C4 programme has put the matter beyond doubt.

"We will definitely not be here after next year," Citroen's team principal Guy Frequelin told Autosport. "Now we have to go and find a cheaper discipline than rallying. At the moment I have no idea what that will be. The C4 WRC is stopped. There will be no more work on it. For next season we will concentrate on Xsara."

The new car was set to be introduced towards the end of the 2005 season and sources close to the team suggest that work on the car has been on-going for 18 months.

New world champion Sebastien Loeb has admitted his disappointment that he will not be part of the C4's further development. "I never drove the C4, and now I never will," he said. "I don't know what will happen next season.

"We saw this year that the Xsara is a very strong car and we have to hope that this carries on next season when we fight against the rest. The Xsara does not have any weak areas, I'm not sure where the next step in development is."

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