Yves Matton is a Belgian former rally driver, former team manager, and current FIA Rally Director. As a rally driver, Matton was active in national rally events between 1987 and 1996, reactivating himself again in the last ten years.
As a team manager, he reached a peak as Citroën Racing's Team Principal between 2012 and 2017, leading the French manufacturer to the last championship title in Sebastien Loeb's era in 2012 and then taking three Manufacturers' and three Drivers' titles in the World Touring Car Championship between 2014 and 2016.
Matton left Citroën at the beginning of 2018, taking a job in the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) as a Rally Director.
Born in July 1967 in Courtrai (Kortrijk), Yves Matton was spending childhood years in Huy and regularly visiting Rallye du Condroz which was taking part in that area. After passing his driving test at the age of 18, Matton's dream to participate in his favorite rally became true in 1987. His first rally car was Open Manta GT/E.
In the following years, he competed in national rally events with Opel Manta GT/E, Opel Manta 400, Mazda 323 4WD, Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 or Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4 or Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Some of his navigators were men who later made impressive careers in rallying, such were Jean-Marc Fortin or Stephane Prevot.
Matton's last rally in that period was the Rallye du Condroz in 1996. In ten years of rallying, he scored few wins and podiums in national events. The best result at Rallye du Condroz, which was a part of the European Rally Championship, was the fifth place in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth.
Matton understood that he wouldn't be a top-level rally driver and he decided to run his own racing-related business. In 1990, he founded Prorace company, specialized in a preparation and rental of race cars. He had clients all over Europe. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Prorace was preparing cars for some Belgian drivers in different Citroen Challenge rally competitions, what was Matton's first connection with French manufacturer.
In the late 1990s, Matton also worked for Belgian rally company Future World, which was preparing Subaru or Toyota rally cars. In 2001, Matton worked for Kronos Racing and served as a Team Manager to Simon Jean-Joseph and Kris Princen, who both drove Peugeot 206 WRCs in selected WRC events.
At the end of 2002, Yves Matton joined Citroën Sport to work as Logistics Manager. The season 2003 was the first full season for Citroen in the WRC. The Team Principal Guy Frequelin appointed Matton on the position of Team Manager. He later combined that position with the role of the Customer Racing Manager.
Matton participated in Citroen's WRC success but also worked with young drivers, developing careers of future WRS stars Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke through the Junior WRC category. Sordo was the JWRC champion in 2005, Meeke was third in the points.
Both Guy Frequelin and Yves Matton left Citroen at the end of 2007. Frequelin went into a retirement while Matton founded his own company MY Racing. He stayed close with Citroen, distributing spare parts for race cars in several European countries.
MY Racing was also organizing the Citroën Racing Trophy until 2013. Matton himself became a manager of Saudi rally driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi, expanding his international career.
Yves Matton returned to Citroën in January 2012, becoming Citroen Racing's Team Principal instead of Olivier Quesnel. He was leading Sebastien Loeb to his ninth WRC title in his last full season. In the same time, the French manufacturer was preparing its World Touring car Championship programme.
The season 2013 was a transitional year for Citroën, then followed the first WTCC season in 2014 and a double success - the Drivers' title for Jose Maria Lopez and Manufacturers' title for Citroen. Under Matton's leadership, Citroen repeated WTCC double success in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Citroen left WTCC to concentrate on WRC campaign with new Citroen C3 WRC. Citroen finished in the fourth place among four manufacturers.
At the beginning of 2018, Matton left Citroën. This time, he did that to move up in the world rally hierarchy, joining FIA as the Rally Director.
While having different jobs and managing duties in motorsport, Yves Matton relived his career of rally driver in 2008, participating at Rallye de Condroz-Huy in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. In the next two years, he came to his favorite rally in a Citroen C2 R2 Max.
Then, in 2013, he borrowed Loeb's navigator Daniel Elena and finished third at Rallye du Condroz-Huy in a Citroen Xsara WRC. They came back in 2014 with the same car but retired with mechanical problems. At 2015 Rallye du Condroz, Matton finished fifth in a Citroen DS3 WRC. A year later, he was fifth again in a Citroen C4 WRC. In 2017, he recorded DNFs at Rallye du Condroz in a Citroen C4 WRC.
Besides regularly competing in his beloved rally event at Huy, Matton is also a regular entrant in some national sprint rally events and historic rallies, using different Citroen cars or Porsche 911 SC.