Meeke the right man to lead Citroen in WRC, Loeb says

Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb believes his former team Citroen was right to put its faith in Kris Meeke to lead its reinvigorated WRC campaign

Meeke the right man to lead Citroen in WRC, Loeb says

Citroen is closing its World Touring Car Championship programme after 2016 and taking a year's hiatus from the WRC to develop the new C3 for the '17 season.

Meeke will lead the C3 test programme this year while contesting a part-season in the WRC with a PH Sport-run DS3, starting with this week's Monte Carlo season opener.

Meeke expects 2017 WRC title challenge

Loeb said Meeke's engineering skill made him the best choice for Citroen, given that Volkswagen's lead pair Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala are under contract with the champion team.

"Ogier is the strongest driver, but I don't know what is his level to develop a car," Loeb told Autosport.

"But he is blocked by Volkswagen, so you don't speak about Ogier [as an option]. It's a bit the same with Latvala.

"I think it's a good choice [to take Meeke].

"He is very clever because he's an engineer as well as a driver.

"Kris understands well how the car is working, so to develop a new car they need him.

"And to develop the car, I imagine Meeke could be better than a few of these guys [at other teams]. Apart from Kris, today, then I don't see who else."

Loeb had wanted to be part of Citroen's 2016 development programme before he was shown the door by the brand with which he won his WRC titles.

Meeke said he was flattered by the rallying legend's praise.

"To have the backing of a guy like that is great, but at the same time I still have to get in there and get the job done," he said.

"Sebastien Loeb and Citroen set the bar very high when they were at the top of their games and it's that level that we're aiming to get back to."

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