Loeb signs long-term deal with Citroen

Citroen's young star Sebastien Loeb has re-signed with the French manufacturer until the end of 2005, which means that either Colin McRae or Carlos Sainz will be forced to leave the team at the end of this season

Loeb signs long-term deal with Citroen

Loeb burst on to the WRC scene with Citroen, winning the Monte Carlo Rally on the road in 2002 but losing it in the stewards' room. He went on to win Rally Deutschland last year, and has continued to make progress with the team this season, winning the Monte for real this time.

"I always had the idea to stay with Citroen," Loeb told wrc.com. "But I did also have some interesting contact with other teams, like Subaru for example. You can never predict the possibility of wining titles. All I can hope for is to be fighting at the sharp end of it next year and the year after that."

From the beginning of next season, any nominated third driver in a manufacturer's team must not have secured a podium finish in the previous three years. With Loeb's extension to his contract, that means either McRae or Sainz will have to leave the team for 2004.

"The rules mean that both [Colin and Carlos] can't stay so we will have to wait and see what happens," said Loeb. "They are both nice guys. They have brought in a lot of experience to the team and helped develop the car."

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