Citroen's World Rally Championship secured by partnership with Abu Dhabi

Citroen has confirmed that a partnership with Abu Dhabi has enabled it to maintain its presence in the World Rally Championship next year

Citroen's World Rally Championship secured by partnership with Abu Dhabi

Following a 13 per cent drop in road car sales on the first half of 2011, Citroen was instructed to source 60 per cent of its WRC team's operating budget externally in order to maintain the programme.

As late as last week, director general of Citroen Frederic Banzet confirmed to AUTOSPORT that nothing was confirmed for next season.

However Abu Dhabi has now fulfilled that obligation. There is no news on the length of agreement with Abu Dhabi.

In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Citroen confirmed that eight-time world champion Sebastien Loeb will tackle a full season in 2013, instead limiting his participation to his favoured events.

Mikko Hirvonen will be joined by another driver - who will contest the rallies missed by Loeb - and Khalid Al-Qassimi, who returns to the WRC with Abu Dhabi backing.

Citroen team principal Yves Matton said: "We are particularly proud to welcome Abu Dhabi on board. This partnership will provide is with the means of continuing our programme and entering three DS3 WRCs in 2013."

A further announcement on a second driver is expected soon, but Matton praised Hirvonen, who will now lead the seven-time manufacturers' champion into next season.

Matton said: "Mikko and Jarmo [Lehtinen, co-driver] have now been totally incorporated into the team.

"They have shown they have the level of performance and experience needed to take this final step and become the natural leaders of our outfit.

"We will be making another announcement in due course about the second crew that will compete in the absence of Seb and Daniel [Elena, co-driver]."

shares
comments
Hyundai reveals new i20 World Rally Car
Previous article

Hyundai reveals new i20 World Rally Car

Next article

Hyundai: Second time lucky?

Hyundai: Second time lucky?
Load comments
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
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021