Craig Breen added to private-run Citroen 2016 WRC line-up

Craig Breen will join Kris Meeke, Stephane Lefebvre and Khalid Al-Qassimi in the line-up for the PH Sport-run private Citroen programme in the 2016 World Rally Championship

Craig Breen added to private-run Citroen 2016 WRC line-up

Citroen announced earlier this week that Meeke was spurning a Toyota approach to stay on through to 2018, developing the car with which it will return to the WRC in earnest in '17 while also competing on a number of events next season in an entry run by its regular satellite squad PH.

It has now confirmed that this programme will run under the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team banner and start on the Monte Carlo season-opener next month, where Meeke and Citroen protege Lefebvre will drive.

For the following round in Sweden, Lefebvre will step down and Meeke will be joined by long-time Citroen WRC driver Al-Qassimi and team newcomer Breen, who has been part of sister brand Peugeot's factory European Rally Championship programme for the past two years.

The quartet of drivers will rotate for the remainder of the 2016 programme.

Al-Qassimi, who brings the Abu Dhabi funding, said he was pleased with the mix of experience and youth in the line-up for the project.

"As lead driver, Kris Meeke will contest several rounds, whilst prioritising his development work with Citroen Racing," said Al-Qassimi.

"We will also be aiming to provide opportunities for talented young drivers from the PSA Peugeot Citroen group.

"Supported by the expertise of the team, they will be able to add to their experience and show what they can do."

The team statement said its entry would vary from one to three cars "depending on the event and the opportunities that arise" and that it would focus on "a selection of WRC rallies based in Europe".

Meeke said he was very satisfied with the rally programme agreed for 2016 and particularly that it began as soon as the Monte.

"Being able to contest a certain number of rallies in 2016 was important when deciding about my future," he said.

"I would therefore like to thank Abu Dhabi, Total and all the partners who have made it possible for us compete in very good conditions at these events.

"This programme will enable me to keep my hand in as regards racing and continue to learn about the WRC events.

"From that point of view, it seemed essential to compete at Monte Carlo.

"It is such an unpredictable rally, where experience counts more than anywhere else."

Breen won the WRC Academy title in 2011 and the WRC's Super 2000 class a year later.

He has only had limited World Rally Car experience so far, including two WRC outings in a private Ford in 2014.

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