Citroen Stays in WRC

Citroen confirmed their presence in next year's World Rally Championship through Citroen Sport boss Olivier Quesnel. The Frenchman admitted he regretted Subaru's and Suzuki's decision to leave the sport due to financial difficulties but said his team has already set new goals for 2009: winning both the drivers' and manufacturers' titles, like in 2008.

“Citroen remains entered in the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship as planned with its two crews, Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti. Of course we regret that both Suzuki and Subaru decided to withdraw from the competition, but we cannot comment their decision. We are looking forward to another exciting season and we will try to renew our great results of 2008. Our goals remain the same, winning the manufacturers and drivers titles,” said Quesnel.

Citroen's boss was recently promoted to director of Peugeot Sport's sportscar programme. However, he will continue to run the Citroen's WRC operations in 2009, aiming to match his team's performances in 2008 (first year on the job).

Citroen is the second – and last – car maker to officially announce its presence as a works team in next years WRC, after Ford already confirmed their 2009 campaign in the series. The two manufacturers have fought for the WRC title throughout the last 3 years.

Citroen's and Ford's announcements come only a few days after Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery insisted that costs for running a WRC programme will be cut dramatically in the next few years. He also urged teams to reconsider leaving the sport.

“A WRC programme is going to cost a tenth of what it would cost a manufacturer to go to Formula One. There's no doubting the value of a WRC programme in these cost-conscious times. And, with the new global promoter deal coming, this is just the right time to get into WRC,” said Hembert on Tuesday.
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