Citroen open to making WRC car available to privateers

Citroen's C3 WRC will be available to buyers and the car could yet compete in the 2020 World Rally Championship, even though the manufacturer has withdrawn its works team.

Citroen open to making WRC car available to privateers

Citroen Racing has told Motorsport.com it won't run the cars itself - the Versailles team's only rally commitment moving forward is with its customer programme C3 R5-class car - but there's nothing to stop the World Rally Cars being used by private teams.

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar said: "[To see the cars compete next year] the most likely option is for the cars to be sold or run by a private buyer.

"But for now, there is no news to communicate on this topic.

"Everything is possible, we will take into consideration all the opportunities that emerge for the rent or sale of our cars."

Any WRC privateer entries made since the current regulations came in for the 2017 season have still been run and prepared by that car's manufacturer, and no true privateer has entered the WRC and run its own car in the same period.

Both Citroen drivers Sebastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi criticsed the car at times this season, and Ogier's run of six titles in three different cars came to and end with his move to Citroen as he was beaten by Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville.

Budar admitted to the frustration at not being able to see where the evolution of the C3 would have slotted in next season, after heavy development work on the car in 2019.

"I am quite convinced we would have started the season in a much better position than this year," he said. "If we will see the car next season, I don't know.

"I am quite convinced of it [that he developed C3 could fight for the title]. The progress we could see during the latest development tests.

"A better understanding and experience of the team - [for the] race and data engineers on the car; they were quite new at the beginning of this season and now they have one more season [of experience].

"Altogether I am quite sure we would have been much more in the fight next season, but that's easy to say."

Read Also:

Citroen driver Esapekka Lappi - who is now without a seat and his only reported option is a seat at the M-Sport World Rally Team - believed the team had made a "big improvement".

"I think we could have done quite big steps," added Lappi, who switched to the team for 2019 from Toyota.

"Obviously you saw the aero update which was working very well - for sure it would have helped a lot on the fast stages and fast rallies.

"The change and the difference in time was quite big from the old aero.

"And then we had some performance-related updates: new engine, new geometry with some steering updates and some other things for the diffs.

"We were working on it for sure. Like we saw when I got the diffs I wanted [this season] it all clicked on gravel.

"There was a lot of work on Tarmac to be done, but I was positive we had a big improvement for next year. Maybe they wouldn't have answered all the challenges we face this year, but at least some of them."

Citroen cited Sebastien Ogier's departure as the reason for its exit in 2020, announced earlier this month. The Frenchman's decision to sign for Toyota, according to Citroen, left the team without a chance of fulfilling its stated aim of winning the drivers' title in 2020.

shares
comments
Latvala eyes five-round Toyota deal for 2020

Previous article

Latvala eyes five-round Toyota deal for 2020

Next article

Meeke considering retirement after losing Toyota drive

Meeke considering retirement after losing Toyota drive
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021