Citroen To Contest WTCC In 2014 Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | Jun, 26 2013 | 2 Comments

French automaker Citroen has announced that it will field at least one factory-backed car in next year's World Touring Car Championship, with rally legend Sebastien Loeb locked in for driving duty.

Citroen hasn't confirmed which model will form the basis for its WTCC cars, but with the DS3 R3 rally car already compliant with the WTCC's Super 2000 regulations it would be an affordable option for Citroen.

However, with a brace of new products underway, it would be more likely that Citroen gives the WTCC spotlight to cars like the incoming DS2 or the next-generation C3 - both of which are expected to debut in 2014.

This will be the first official foray into top-tier wheel-to-wheel touring car racing for the brand, which has notched up most of its motorsport victories on the dirt, gravel and snow of the World Rally Champiionship.

Said Citroen CEO Frédéric Banzet:

"The WTCC is based on several aspects that are essential to Citroën: extensive media coverage, regulations that keep costs down and a genuinely global race calendar.

"Our involvement in this championship will give us not only another chance to showcase our Créative Technologie but it will also help us to develop the Brand in promising, growth markets such as China, Russia and South America."

According to Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal, Citroen's WTCC team will be operating in unfamiliar territory.

"Competing in a category for the first time, starting from scratch, gives our division a superb challenge,” said Matton.

“Having said that, we will be able to re-use a large part of our existing expertise, starting with the DS3 WRC’s 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine.

"Work has already begun in our Versailles technical centre and is set to be stepped up in the coming weeks, with the first tests of our car and the start of our development programme to prepare for the 2014 season."

However, Matton confirmed that Citroen's WTCC campaign would not take its focus off WRC.

"Obviously, we’re still committed to rallying and we’ll continue to work hard to try and get the best possible result in 2013," said Matton.

"Our partnership with Abu Dhabi is set to be reinforced, enabling us to continue to be involved in WRC with a new system and with new objectives.”

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