CitroÃ«n confirms its return in 2007 The World Council of the FIA (FÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale de l'Automobile) has just validated the main lines of the future technical and sporting regulations that will apply to the World Rally Championship ...
Citroën confirms its return in 2007
The World Council of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) has just validated the main lines of the future technical and sporting regulations that will apply to the World Rally Championship (WRC). These notably include measures aimed at achieving significant cost savings.
In November 2004, faced with the budgetary constraints associated with a presence in the World Rally Championship, the Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën Jean Martin Folz announced that the two PSA Group brands could not take such costs onboard. The latest decisions, however, mean that the strategy laid down at the time by Monsieur Folz can now be applied.
Surveys conducted in-house by Citroën have clearly revealed that the WRC continues to stand out as the ideal form of motor sport for the brand. An official return to the series in 2007 was consequently possible so long as the overall budget it was necessary to invest was very significantly reduced. Today, thanks to the new regulations, these cost considerations have been met.
"As a result, the decision to return to the World Rally Championship was taken very quickly," says Citroën Sport Director Guy Fréquelin. "The new regulations allow us to meet our budget targets. There is no longer anything standing in the way of our return to the sport. For the team, for the fans and for all those who have supported us during our past three complete seasons in the World Rally Championship, this decision couldn't have come at a better time. I am delighted."
The 2006 season will consequently be a year of transition with, on the one hand, the presence of a Xsara WRC for Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena run by a private team and, on the other, the redeployment of the new Citroën C4 WRC's development programme. Citroen Sport will return to the championship full time from 2007.
For Citroën, the pursuit of its commitment to rallying is in keeping with a veritable competition-related philosophy with a sport that has always fascinated, well beyond Citroën's two Manufacturers' titles in 2003 and 2004 and the two Drivers' crowns secured by Sébastien Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena in 2004 and 2005