By the end of this year, French carmaker Citroen will decide whether to continue to compete exclusively in the WRC World Rally Championship, or to leave it and dedicate itself exclusively to the WTCC World Touring Car Championship.
In the radical restructuring of Citroen Racing and Peugeot Sport, the key issues will be logistics, the level of competition and which sport better promotes their brand in the Chinese market. The latter probably carries the most weight, and given that rally as a sport in China is not as popular as the WTCC, where one of the championship races takes place (and in 2017 another race is expected to be included in the race calendar), this would it could mean that the French will finish the program in the rally, where they celebrated their last world title in 2012, and with the dominance of Volkswagen, there is no indication that they could return to the winning path any time soon.
They are doing much better in the touring car competition, where they won both world championship titles in the first season of the competition last year, and this year they are also showing top form. Citroen race cars have won 14 of this year’s 16 races, with their racers occupying the top three places in six races.
"Within a year or so, all our sports activities will be focused on one area where we want them to be as effective as possible, but both brands (Citroen and Peugeot) will remain as a stand-alone sports project," explained Citroen boss Yves. Matton.
“The main office will be the same as before, and everything in the background will come together. As Citroen brand director Linda Jackson has already said, each brand will have its own official program, and Citroen will decide between touring cars and the World Rally Championship before the 2017 season, ”explained Matton. “The number of events we will perform at is important to us, it is also important to us that there is a race in China and similar things on the calendar. I hope that we will decide on the continuation by the end of this year.
We know that changes are promising in the touring car championship. We have to make sure that the business plan will be as similar as possible to the plan with which we entered the championship. If in the future the logistics of touring cars do not go only through sea transport, a number of things will change for us, ”Matton explained.
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