CITROËN UNVEILS ITS DRIVER LINE-UP FOR 2018
Contesting the full season next year, Kris Meeke will spearhead the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, whilst Craig Breen will drive the second Citroën C3 WRC at ten rounds of the championship and Khalid Al Qassimi will appear in a third car at a handful of rallies.
Sébastien Loeb will be making a much-anticipated return to the WRC with the brand in Mexico, Corsica and Catalonia.
Meanwhile, Stéphane Lefebvre will be tasked with driving the Citroën C3 R5 on its debut season in the WRC2.
Reaching the historic figure of one hundred World Rally Championship wins is one of the objectives that Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT has set itself for 2018. To secure the two victories needed to break this record, or indeed even surpass it, the team will once again be putting its faith in Kris Meeke, now capableof winning on any surface, as demonstrated by the five WRC rallies he has won since starting to compete for Citroën at world level in 2013. On the return of Citroën to the WRC as a works team this year, the 38 year-old Briton bagged the Citroën C3 WRC’s maiden victory in only its third race, on the Mexican gravel, before also excelling on the tarmac in Corsica. The second part of the season confirmed his ability to take on the responsibilities of team leader. The highlight being a second, resounding win on the gravel and tarmac of Rally Catalunya, and a determined attitude, befitting that of a leader.
Kris will be supported in showcasing the qualities of the Citroën C3 WRC at ten rounds of the championship by Craig Breen, who enjoyed an incredibly consistent first full season in the WRC, so much so that he racked up no fewer than six fifth-place finishes. After learning about rallying at world level in 2016 as part of the Abu Dhabi Total WRT and finishing an impressive third overall in Finland, the 27 yearold Irishman is very determined to build on the experience acquired this year and secure more podiums in 2018.
The 2018 season will also see the Loeb-Elena crew back competing for Citroën, thus reforming a partnership that has already claimed nine world drivers’ and co-drivers’ titles (2004 to 2012), eight manufacturers’ titles (2003 to 2005 and 2008 to 2012) and some seventy-eight rally wins. After retiring from full-time involvement in the WRC at the end of 2012, and having contested only four rallies in 2013 and made a one-off appearance at the 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo, Sébastien Loeb will be looking to find the feeling specific to rallying when he drives the second works Citroën C3 WRC in Mexico, Corsica and Spain. It will be a chance for the rally legend to enhance his illustrious record even further at events where he has previously won on six, four and eight occasions respectively, whilst also enabling Citroën’s ‘Red Army’ to benefit from his immense, almost unrivalled experience.