Citroen Sport's drivers to attend the Memorial Bettega

Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo will be in Italy this weekend for the 18th annual Memorial Bettega. The five-time World Rally Champion* will kick off the event with a demonstration run at the wheel of the Manufacturers' title-winning* Citroen C4 WRC before flying on to England to take part in the Race of Champions at London's Wembley Stadium. Dani Sordo, who finished third in the 2008 World Rally Championship*, will contest the Italian fixture in the Citroen which took him to six podium finishes in the course of the season which came to a close last weekend in Wales.

The Memorial Bettega is organised within the framework of the 33rd Motor Show di Bologna (December 5-14) and is run in memory of the celebrated Italian rally driver who was tragically killed in an accident on the 1985 Tour de Corse. This popular competition stands out as the highlight of a programme of 20 or so races staged over the 10-day event and, since its creation in 1991, has been won by stars like Colin McRae (1991 and 1993), Didier Auriol (1992 and 1998) and Marcus Gronholm (2004). The action takes the form of head-to-head races round parallel tracks based on a knock out system which culminates in the grand finale.

Just hours after the FIA's official prize-giving ceremony in Monaco, the two Citroen drivers will trade their dinner jackets for their familiar race-suits. After receiving the prize in the Principality for his fifth consecutive world title, Sebastien Loeb will entertain the Italian crowd with a series of parade laps in the car with which he won 11 world class rallies this year. Immediately afterwards, the Alsace-born Frenchman will catch a plane to England where he is scheduled to contest the Race of Champions. Dani Sordo, who took the trophy for third place in the 2008 WRC, will stay on to defend Citroen's colours in front of Bologna's tifosi.

"I know the Memorial Bettega but I have never taken part in it before," says Dani. "I am very much looking forward to the start because it will be a fresh experience and I always enjoy discovering new events. It has an excellent reputation amongst the rally driver fraternity and that can be seen from the entry list which includes the likes of Marcus Gronholm and Gigi Galli. It won't be easy against drivers of that calibre but my objectives with the C4 WRC will be to challenge for outright victory and put on the best show possible for the spectators."

-credit: citroen