Loix and Rovanpera confirmed at Peugeot

Peugeot has confirmed its WRC driver line-up for 2004, with world champion Marcus Gronholm joined by current team-mate Harri Rovanpera and Belgian Freddy Loix, in a move that leaves Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz fighting for their future in the championship

Loix and Rovanpera confirmed at Peugeot

Loix, who currently drives for Hyundai, has been expected to join the team for some time. He is the most experienced driver who has not scored a WRC podium in the last three years, and is therefore eligible to serve as Peugeot's third driver. Although the Belgian will drive the third 206 for the majority of the season, he may be replaced by specialist drivers on specific events.

The re-signing of Rovanpera, who currently shares the third 206 with asphalt ace Gilles Panizzi, was more of a surprise. The Finn will now move up to Peugeot's second car and contest a full WRC season with the team for the first time in his career.

Peugeot's decision leaves just one top-line WRC drive available for next season, at Citroen. Both Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz are hoping to be retained by the team, with the job prospects bleak for whoever misses out on the drive.

Peugeot will also field a fourth 2003-spec car on the majority of the championship, either directly or through favoured privateer team Bozian Racing. Swede Daniel Carlsson will drive the entry on at least eight gravel rounds, with other young drivers taking to the wheel on the championship's four asphalt events.

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