Citroens could continue in WTCC in 2017 with Sebastien Loeb's team

Citroen boss Yves Matton says the all-conquering C-Elysee could remain on the World Touring Car Championship grid beyond the marque's exit as a works team at the end of 2016

Citroens could continue in WTCC in 2017 with Sebastien Loeb's team

Parent group PSA decided last month that Citroen would take a sabbatical from the World Rally Championship next year to focus on its 2017 car, but that its WTCC project would then be axed following the conclusion of the '16 campaign.

The works outfit will be slimmed from the four cars it fielded in 2015 to two for next season, retaining champion Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller but parting company with Sebastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua.

Five Citroens should still be on the grid next season - with Loeb's own Sebastien Loeb Racing team retaining Mehdi Bennani, signing former Bamboo Chevrolet driver Gregoire Demoustier and planning to add a third private C-Elysee.

Matton suggested SLR could take over the running of the factory team when Citroen leaves the championship, although any decision would be taken during next season.

"2016 will be our first step with three cars run by his team, after that I have no clear position for the moment," said Matton.

"We will see in the first part of the championship next year how it works and if it works it will be a good time to speak with Sebastien [to see] if there is the possibility with partners to run the factory cars in 2017 - but it cannot be a manufacturer involvement.

"The cars are there. To find a solution that the cars stay on the grid - it's in the interest of everybody; of the promoter, of SLR, of Citroen."

He said the door was open to another private Citroen team replacing or joining SLR for 2017.

"My goal is to do everything with SLR," Matton continued.

"But let's also see if SLR will be in the future - if they will be organised to support this.

"If it's not the case we will see for 2017 but my hope is only one team and if it is not possible it will be one more to run our cars in the WTCC."

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