Unveiling its future in motor sport, Citroën has announced that it will be taking part in the World Rally Championship from 2017.
The team’s entry will be based on cars designed in line with the FIA’s new technical regulations. In order to dedicate as many resources as possible to development of the new car, the Citroën Racing team will be putting its involvement in the WRC on hold next season. In 2016, the Citroën Total team will defend its FIA WTCC world titles with two Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs, driven by José María López and Yvan Muller.
Citroën has won an incredible fifteen world titles over the last twenty-two years, between 1993 and 2015: five in the Cross Country Rally World Cup, eight in the WRC and two in the WTCC. The brand’s success in the motor sport industry has become a key component in developing Citroën’s new brand image, while contributing to the growth of the company.
As the 2015 season draws to a close, Citroën outlined plans for its next challenge, focusing on the brand’s core values: team spirit, pushing yourself to the limit and creativity. In line with the strategy defined by Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Management Board, the brand will concentrate its sporting commitments on a single worldwide programme. After reviewing all of the current motor sport categories, Citroën has chosen to compete in the FIA World Rally Championship due to the brand’s past success in the sport and future opportunities available that will reaffirm the brand’s position in the industry.
“With eight world titles and a record 94 wins, Citroën has certainly enjoyed unrivalled success in the WRC,” commented Linda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of the Citroën brand. “Rallying is a fascinating sport, which tests the performance, reliability and solidity of the cars and drivers in some magnificent settings. The category is taking off again, with increasingly widespread live television coverage and the arrival of China on the calendar in 2016. In 2017, the appearance of a new generation of cars will coincide with our renewed involvement. Everything will therefore be in place for us to write a new chapter in the brand’s history. Given Citroën’s rich heritage, this challenge had to be ambitious with new objectives that will motivate the team and ensure continual success.”
The 2017 generation of World Rally Cars will be more impressive with more powerful engines and imposing aerodynamic features. This radical change in the regulations will enable Citroën Racing to compete on equal terms with its rivals, after devoting 2016 to the development of the new model.
“We have always been interested in the 2017 WRC regulations and the entire team is extremely motivated by this new challenge,” commented Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal.
“We’re excited by this new level of freedom to make the cars more spectacular, but also the possibility of reusing development work done on the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC’s engine. With a view to managing our resources efficiently, we have decided to focus all our efforts on designing and developing our new World Rally Car. This is why Citroën will not be competing in the 2016 World Rally Championship as a works team. We will obviously be keeping a close eye on the WRC, both with the organisation of the FIA Junior WRC and with the WRC2 programme for Quentin Gilbert, this year’s JWRC Champion.”