Citroen open to making WRC car available to privateers

Citroen's C3 WRC will be available to buyers and the car could yet compete in the 2020 World Rally Championship, even though the manufacturer has withdrawn its works team.

Citroen open to making WRC car available to privateers

Citroen Racing has told Motorsport.com it won't run the cars itself - the Versailles team's only rally commitment moving forward is with its customer programme C3 R5-class car - but there's nothing to stop the World Rally Cars being used by private teams.

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar said: "[To see the cars compete next year] the most likely option is for the cars to be sold or run by a private buyer.

"But for now, there is no news to communicate on this topic.

"Everything is possible, we will take into consideration all the opportunities that emerge for the rent or sale of our cars."

Any WRC privateer entries made since the current regulations came in for the 2017 season have still been run and prepared by that car's manufacturer, and no true privateer has entered the WRC and run its own car in the same period.

Both Citroen drivers Sebastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi criticsed the car at times this season, and Ogier's run of six titles in three different cars came to and end with his move to Citroen as he was beaten by Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville.

Budar admitted to the frustration at not being able to see where the evolution of the C3 would have slotted in next season, after heavy development work on the car in 2019.

"I am quite convinced we would have started the season in a much better position than this year," he said. "If we will see the car next season, I don't know.

"I am quite convinced of it [that he developed C3 could fight for the title]. The progress we could see during the latest development tests.

"A better understanding and experience of the team - [for the] race and data engineers on the car; they were quite new at the beginning of this season and now they have one more season [of experience].

"Altogether I am quite sure we would have been much more in the fight next season, but that's easy to say."

Read Also:

Citroen driver Esapekka Lappi - who is now without a seat and his only reported option is a seat at the M-Sport World Rally Team - believed the team had made a "big improvement".

"I think we could have done quite big steps," added Lappi, who switched to the team for 2019 from Toyota.

"Obviously you saw the aero update which was working very well - for sure it would have helped a lot on the fast stages and fast rallies.

"The change and the difference in time was quite big from the old aero.

"And then we had some performance-related updates: new engine, new geometry with some steering updates and some other things for the diffs.

"We were working on it for sure. Like we saw when I got the diffs I wanted [this season] it all clicked on gravel.

"There was a lot of work on Tarmac to be done, but I was positive we had a big improvement for next year. Maybe they wouldn't have answered all the challenges we face this year, but at least some of them."

Citroen cited Sebastien Ogier's departure as the reason for its exit in 2020, announced earlier this month. The Frenchman's decision to sign for Toyota, according to Citroen, left the team without a chance of fulfilling its stated aim of winning the drivers' title in 2020.

shares
comments
Latvala eyes five-round Toyota deal for 2020
Previous article

Latvala eyes five-round Toyota deal for 2020

Next article

Meeke considering retirement after losing Toyota drive

Meeke considering retirement after losing Toyota drive
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Prime

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport.

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya Prime

How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Prime

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Prime

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Prime

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Prime

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Prime

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Motorsport.com donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the life of a rally mechanic.

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Prime

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022