Citroën has quit the globe Rally Championship with immediate impact – claiming the choice was created as a result of lead driver Sébastien Ogier is going away the team.
The French firm encompasses a storied history within the WRC, winning 9 consecutive drivers’ championships with Sebastien Jacques Loeb between 2004 and 2014, and eight manufacturers’ titles throughout that amount. however it’s struggled to vie with Toyota and Hyundai in recent years, finishing third during this year’s makes’ points. Ogier, WHO has won six drivers’ titles with Volkswagen and M-Sport Ford, was third within the drivers’ standings.Ogier, WHO started his works career with Citroën in 2009, had came to the firm this season on a biennial deal, however his unhappiness with the aggressiveness of his C3 WRC became clear throughout the year. he’s wide expected to modify to the title-winning Toyota squad for 2020. European Esapekka Lappi conjointly drove for the team this year.
In a statement, Citroën athletics same that “following the choice of Sebastien Ogier to depart Citroën athletics when 2019 WRC season, Citroën determined to withdraw from its WRC programme in 2020 because of the absence of a superior driver accessible for 2020 season.”
With sister firm DS a frontrunner in Formula E and Peugeot gears up to come to the globe Endurance Championship with a hybrid supercar in 2022, Citroën had been expected to depart the WRC within the returning years – however it’s still a surprise for the firm to depart thus quickly.
Citroën has shifted the main focus of its road automobile line-up to emphasize comfort and electrification in recent years, off from performance-focused models, creating its WRC programme associate degree odd match. the discharge superimposed that the choice would change it to “reinforce the main focus of its promoting means that on its whole strategy, to handle the present stakes concerning energy transition with the launch of a brand new generation of electrified models from 2020″.Citroën boss Linda Jackson said: “Our call to withdraw from WRC programme as early as finish of 2019 follows on Sébastien Ogier’s option to leave Citroën athletics. we tend to clearly haven’t wanted this example however we tend to couldn’t imagine 2020 season while not Sébastien.
“I would really like to give thanks Citroën athletics team for his or her passion and commitment. area unita|a district|a region|a locality|a vicinity|a section} of Citroën’s desoxyribonucleic acid is intimately coupled with the rally and that we are proud to be one in every of the foremost titled brands in WRC History with 102 victories and eight manufacturer titles.”
Citroën’s WRC history
Citroën splattered within the WRC within the Nineteen Eighties with the unfortunate BX 4TC type B automobile, however its current programme began within the late Nineteen Nineties, once it shifted its efforts from rally raids. The firm developed variety of fast two-wheel-drive kit cars, before stepping up to the top-ranking with the four-wheel-drive Xsara T4 WRC in 2001.
Jesus Puras took Citroën’s initial win throughout that part-season, however the beginning performing artist was French tyro Jacques Loeb, WHO picked up his initial win in Deutschland as a part of a restricted campaign in 2002.
Citroën entered regular in 2003, with Jacques Loeb joined by rally legends Colin McRae and Salim Sainz. Jacques Loeb narrowly uncomprehensible the title before clinching it in 2004, beginning associate degree unexampled run of dominance. whereas Citroën took a year go into 2006 to develop the C4 WRC, Jacques Loeb still won the title in a very privateer Xsara.
Ogier joined Citroën in 2010, and looked set to eventually succeed Jacques Loeb before tensions between the 2 light-emitting diode to him jumping to Volkswagen for 2012. Jacques Loeb won that year’s title within the C3 WRC before quitting the WRC regular – and also the firm’s title-winning run terminated once Ogier claimed the primary of his six consecutive titles in a very Polo WRC in 2014.
Citroën had another sabbatical in 2016 whereas it developed the new C3 WRC, and, whereas the automobile has won rallies each season since 2017, the squad has been unable to mount a sustained title challenge. Briton crease Meeke had light-emitting diode the squad before being born mid-way through 2018, and hopes had been high that the come of Ogier for this year would facilitate Citroën come to dominance.