Citroen announce break from WRC


Citroen have announced plans to take a one-year break from the World Rally Championship as they prepare a competitive car for the 2017 season.

The French constructors have enjoyed huge success in the sport thanks to Sebastien Loeb's dominance of the sport, but since he has stepped back from rallying their form has begun to dwindle.

After eight titles in nine years, Citroen have been second best to Volkswagen and finished the last campaign 183 points adrift.

In an attempt to rectify that situation and make themselves more competitive, Citroen will not participate in 2016 - leaving Mads Ostberg and Kris Meeke potentially without a drive.

Team principal Yves Matton said the new regulations being brought in for the season after next, which include engine enhancements a fresh aerodynamic package, appeal to Citroen.

"We have never hidden our interest in the 2017 WRC regulations and the entire team is extremely motivated by this new challenge," Matton told Autosport.

"We like the freedom granted to make the cars more spectacular, but also the possibility of reusing development work done on the C-Elysee WTCC's engine.

"With a view to managing our resources efficiently, we have decided to focus all our efforts on designing and developing our new World Rally Car.

"This is why Citroen will not be competing in the 2016 World Rally Championship as a works team."

Thursday also saw nine-time world champion Loeb confirm his departure from the team, ending a 15-year association.

In a statement on his website the Frenchman said: "I will not be driving for Citroen Racing next year, but I remain within the PSA Peugeot Citroen group.

"Since the beginning of the 2000s, Citroen brand was in my heart. I have lived incredible moments.

"We wrote some beautiful pages in the history of the brand in WRC."