Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre will be Kris Meeke’s teammates in Citroen for 2017/2018 WRC. Kris Meeke was already confirmed to drive for the team until 2018. Khalid Al Qassimi will also be competing at some events in 2017.
Citroen Racing continues to assemble the necessary ingredients for its return as a works team in the WRC. Since April of this year, the Citroen C3 WRC has completed seven development tests. It is now very close to the final version. By announcing now their driver and co-driver line-up for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the team takes another important step forward.
The line-up is now completed by two crews considered to be among the most promising young talents in the WRC. Having come to prominence in the rally programmes of the PSA Group and competing this season for the Abu Dhabi Total WRT, Craig Breen/Scott Martin and Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau convinced Citroen to put their faith in youth.
This choice is in line with Citroen’s policy aimed at identifying and developing talented young rally drivers. In the last 15 years or more, Citroen has identified some of the best in the business: Sebastien Loeb, Sebastien Ogier, Dani Sordo, Thierry Neuville, Eric Camilli and of course Meeke.
At the start of the season, the team will enter two Citroen C3 WRCs. One will be for Kris Meeke and the other for either Craig Breen or Stephane Lefebvre, who will alternate driving duties. The exact distribution of events to drivers will be announced at a later stage. Citroen will start entering three cars as soon as possible.
At some rounds of the 2017 World Championship, a fourth Citroen C3 WRC will also be entered for Khalid Al Qassimi.
Kris Meeke, Craig Breen, Stephane Lefebvre and Khalid Al Qassimi will continue testing the new C3 WRC
Kris Meeke, Craig Breen, Stephane Lefebvre and Khalid Al Qassimi will continue testing the new car.
Yves Matton, Citroen Racing Team Principal: “We had several scenarios regarding the choice of our crews for the future. Kris Meeke was confirmed at the end of last year. He has become the natural leader of the team. As well as challenging for the lead on each of his appearances in 2016, winning in Portugal and in Finland, he has also done most of the development work for our Citroen C3 WRC.”
“I don’t think we can be accused of having gone for the easy option. But this original solution is very much aligned with Citroen’s mindset. We believe in the potential of Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre. They have the natural talent, motivation and work ethic to win rallies.”
“I would also say we are proud to take these young drivers up to the top level of the sport. At the start of the season, we’ll have them take turns behind the wheel in the second Citroen C3 WRC. As soon as possible, our three crews will be starting each round. Khalid Al-Qassimi is a true ambassador for rallying in the Middle-East and we are very pleased to support him in his approach.”
Proud to join the @Citroen #WRC team for the next two seasons, and happy to keep working with @Yves_Matton @krismeeke and @Craig_Breen pic.twitter.com/Tlaz89zHuW
— Stéphane Lefebvre (@SLefebvreRallye) 5 October 2016