Sebastien Loeb's Citroen team to continue in WTCC in 2016

Sebastien Loeb Racing will stay in the World Touring Car Championship next season and could expand to a three-car operation, despite Citroen announcing its impending exit and dropping Loeb himself

Sebastien Loeb's Citroen team to continue in WTCC in 2016

Citroen confirmed last week that it would be scaling back its current assault from four Citroen C-Elysees to two for 2016 - which will include the departure of nine-time World Rally champion Loeb - ahead of its withdrawal from the championship at the end of the year.

But Loeb's eponymous outfit, which field an independent Citroen for Moroccan Mehdi Bennani, will continue to run a satellite operation alongside the manufacturer next season.

The team, which joined the WTCC at the start of 2015, will retain Bennani and intends to add more cars to its line-up, with a three-car assault on next year's championship possible.

"We are pleased to continue with Mehdi and the Citroen C-Elysee WTCC; it is a double satisfaction," said Dominique Heintz, who co-founded the team alongside Loeb.

"The experience in the WTCC is interesting and motivating, with a worldwide programme that drives us to move forward against tough competition.

"We have created a very good working relationship with Mehdi. We have made steady progress together, to achieve a very positive part of the season with performances at the front.

"We have laid the foundation to make an even better season in 2016 [and] will always have a very competitive car with [the] C-Elysee."

Bennani, who could win the WTCC Independents' Trophy at the final round of the 2015 season this weekend in Qatar, said he was grateful to have the full backing of the team.

"Knowing I will continue to drive for Sebastien Loeb Racing is excellent news," he said. "This is proof I have total confidence from the team.

"This is a very professional structure. Knowing that we run for Sebastien Loeb, who is nine times world champion [and] who is a role model is a unique feeling.

"I was the first Arab driver to race in the WTCC [and] I hope to be the first to win a world title in this discipline."

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