Nine-time WRC champion Loeb to test Citroen's 2017 C3 rally car

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb will return to Citroen to test one of the manufacturer's C3 WRCs for the first time next month

Nine-time WRC champion Loeb to test Citroen's 2017 C3 rally car

Loeb, who won 78 WRC rounds in a 13-year career with Citroen, will drive Citroen's 2017 World Rally Car for one day on asphalt in a private test.

The establishment of PSA Motorsport - encompassing the three brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS within the group - has allowed the now Peugeot-contracted Loeb to drive the C3.

"With the creation of the PSA Motorsport entity, we can now form a single big team," said Loeb.

"At the same time as competing in cross-country and the World Rallycross Championship with Peugeot, I can bring my experience to Citroen by testing the C3.

"I can't wait to get back into a World Rally Car and test how the technology has changed in that discipline."

After a year away from the championship developing the C3 WRC in 2016, Citroen has encountered a number of setbacks on its full-time return to the series.

Lead driver and Rally Mexico winner Kris Meeke was benched for the last round in Poland, with Andreas Mikkelsen driving the car and offering another angle on the car's development.

Loeb is one of the few active drivers with competition history using a car with an active centre differential - one of the areas Citroen has struggled with its C3 WRC.

Head of PSA Motorsport Jean-Marc Finot said: "Sebastien shares Group PSA's values.

"That is fundamentally why his career with Citroen and then Peugeot has been closely intertwined for so many years.

"He's absolutely in tune with the team spirit and is one of the team's pillars.

"With its wealth of programmes, PSA Motorsport is able to give drivers the chance to use their talents for DS Performance, Citroën Racing and Peugeot Sport.

"In this way, drivers of Group PSA Brands benefit from varied driving experiences in line with their ambitions and adapted to their exceptional skills."

Loeb retired from full-time WRC competition on the back of his ninth title in 2012 and last competed two years ago on the Monte Carlo Rally.

He competed in the World Touring Car Championship before moving to rallycross and a Dakar programme.

"I'm still passionate about rallying," added Loeb. "Of all the disciplines I've tried since I retired 5 years ago, it's the sensation of rallying that I love most."

There is no suggestion that Loeb will return to competition - and Citroen has already committed to Mikkelsen re-joining the Parisian firm alongside Meeke and Craig Breen - for next month's Rally Germany.

shares
comments
M-Sport boss Wilson not giving up on keeping Ogier for WRC 2018
Previous article

M-Sport boss Wilson not giving up on keeping Ogier for WRC 2018

Next article

Kris Meeke: being dropped from Citroen squad shows lack of support

Kris Meeke: being dropped from Citroen squad shows lack of support
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
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