WRC | Citroen Withdraw From World Rally With Immediate Effect

Disappointing news for the FIA World Rally Championship as multiple champions Citroen withdraw from the series with immediate effect.

Citing the defection of lead driver and six-time World Champion Sebastien Ogier as the reason behind their exit from the series, Citroen have today confirmed that the French squad will withdraw works participation from the category with immediate effect, leaving just Toyota and Hyundai as the remaining manufacturer presence in the series.

The departure of Citroen has been on the cards for a number of weeks already, considering parent group PSA are embarking on an ambitious WEC project with the Pegueot brand from 2021, and their continual participation in Formula E under the DS Techeetah squad. Nevertheless, the lack of a works presence for the Citroen C3 WRC in 2020 is another blow for the series - despite the marque confirming they will continue supporting a customer programme beyond this season.

"Building on the experience and the competencies of PSA Motorsport teams, Citroën customer competition activity will be reinforced in 2020, with a support and an amplified commitment towards C3 R5 customers throughout the world" said Citroen CEO Linda Jackson​
"This decision enables Citroën to reinforce the focus of its marketing means on its brand strategy, to address the current stakes regarding energy transition with the launch of a new generation of electrified models from 2020."

Having enjoyed considerable success in recent years, the 2019 WRC was one of disappointment for the brand, with only third in the manufacturers championship falling well below expectations prior to the season start at the beginning of the year.

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Performance aside, Citroen have surprisingly claimed the exit of six-time champion Sebastien Ogier as the cause for its withdrawal, with the Frenchman expected to confirm his place at Toyota in the coming days;

"Our decision to withdraw from WRC programme as early as end of 2019 follows on Sébastien Ogier’s choice to leave Citroën Racing. We obviously have not wished this situation but we could not imagine 2020 season without Sébastien" added Jackson.​

"I would like to thank Citroën Racing team for their passion and commitment. A part of Citroën’s DNA is intimately linked with the rally and we are proud to be one the most titled brands in WRC History with 102 victories and 8 manufacturer titles."

With Citroen gone for next year, few places in the series remain for current driver Esapekka Lappi, the 28-year-old Finnish star finding himself currently without a drive so late in the year.

Seven times podium finisher and winner of the 2017 Rally Finland, Lappi is one of the more spectacular drivers in current competition, and the sport would be poorer without the Finn in the field next season.


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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

AyrtJ97

75RPM
Well, they may make Kronos Racing or PH Sport to run as satellite teams, it wouldn't be the first time they do this. Nevertheless, I see some real nonsense on the the team's words. I mean, they are using Ogier's departure as a "defense" for their departure from the WRC, even saying that there's no top-driver left for joinning the team... this seems to me like they themselves are closing the doors for a future comeback to the series. Anyways, it's not like they have developed a top-field rally cars on these three years.
 

Michel Bélisle

100RPM
Premium
Where is Subaru? Where is Volkswagen? Where is Ford?

Since when rally is not an exciting proving grounds for car manufacturers?

I fear for motor sports in general. In North America, people are increasingly buying trucks and SUVs for mundane transportation purposes. I hope this trend will not be an excuse for car manufacturers to pull away from motor sports.
 

cr4sh

1RPM
WRC is not dead at all... It's just that Citroen made a really bad car. An no one is able to drive this **** not even Sebastien Ogier multiple world champion.. Sebastien Ogier knows that Citroen will not do anything at least not enough to get at the same level as Toyota & Hyundai. That's why he is leaving.. to get a chance of wining again a world title.

Now Citroen are really a piece of **** by saying that there are leaving because of Sebastien Ogier ! The C3 sucks since the begining. They are bad since Loeb left. They are making a good decision by leaving. To bad Subaru and Mitsubishi are not coming back
 

budlix

Wheel Rotator
Premium
well, well. Sad news, without proper Ford team, without Subaru even thinking about coming in, I think at least I will save some qids for normal (not exclusive/full) subscription in wrc.com. But hey, I would spend some bucks for a fun. Throw some team in it, Ford with Seb would be pretty good start, wouldn't it?
 

FinFan

100RPM
I wonder: didn't Ogier have a contract for 2020 ? He signed a two-year deal with them, did he not ? If that's the case he either had an opt-out clause or Citroen permitted him to leave. In which case it seems rather strange to use him leaving as an excuse to leave WRC alltogether.
In any case if Ogier docks with Toyota (which now seems a given) I am out for 2020. I am a Toyota fan but I dislike Ogier. I could not cheer for him even in my favorite car. Sounds weird ? Well, that's how I'm programmed.
 

BazzaLB

50RPM
Hmm, I've been following the WRC since 2003. I found the last 3 seasons to be brilliant tbh. I think next season will be equally as exciting. I stopped watching F1 (which I started following avidly in 1981) as that I would agree has become a bore fest of predictability and safety cars. WRC on the other hand.. its been great.
 

wombat999

500RPM
WRC without Citroen? Doesn't feel right.
Then again, I always preferred the 1990 through to 2005 series.
Mitsubishi, Subaru, Ford, SEAT, Citroen, Peugeot and even Hyundai were represented and the events were epic.
 
Quite easy to spot who doesn't follow WRC at all. :rolleyes:

Since 2017 WRC has been in a amazing spot. With 2018 being one of the best season WRC has ever had, if not the best one. And just look at some of the highlights of this season, how is this motorsport "boring" ? :


Now on the subject of citroën.
They have done everything to sabotage themselves for a few years now, they were just a shadow of their past glory.
And if Ogier didn't sign with them at the end of last year you can bet they would have left immediatly.
The brand (or more likely Linda Jackson) was looking for an exit door for a while now.

Also just a quick note, it's kinda sad too only see articles related to WRC here when it's associated with bad news or to a F1 driver.
There were 0 articles about Tanäk title this year despite a nail biting season...
 

Julo26

10RPM
If you actually think that WRC has become boring, you surely haven't seen any rally in a very long time. Even just this season had many gripping events such as Monte, Corsica, Portugal, Wales, or Germany. Recently the pack is well balanced, and battles often go down to the wire. Citroen just made a retarded decision, and it has nothing to do, with current state of the sport.
 

flykas

25RPM
Whoa, first post about rally, thank you very much :thumbsup:

For me this move (including Ogier moving to to Toyota) is exciting because I didn't like watching Ogier struggling with this halfbaked car. Now it is looking like there should be an interesting fight. Just too bad that grid will be so small.
 
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