Meeke and Lefebvre at Rallye Monte-Carlo as Abu Dhabi Total WRT drivers
Citroen Racing stepped out from World Rally Championship but their DS3 WRC cars will still be running at some events of the 2016 WRC season. Long-term Citroen’s partner Abu Dhabi Racing and Khalid A-Qassimi will continue to compete under the Abu Dhabi Total WRT banner. The news is that next to Al-Qassimi there will be some other star drivers at the wheel of DS3 WRC cars – Kris Meeke, Stephane Lefebvre and Craig Breen.
Two cars at Monte-Carlo, three in Sweden
Kris Meeke and Citroen Racing signed a new agreement a couple of days ago, until the end of 2018. In 2016 Citroen will not have a factory team in WRC, so Meeke’s main job will be the development of 2017-spec car. Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team will serve as a transitional stage before Citroen Racing’s return in 2017, so Meeke and his co-driver Paul Nagle will have a chance to compete at selected European WRC events. Two events were already confirmed for Meeke/Nagle: Rallye Monte-Carlo (18-24 January 2016) and Rally Sweden (11-14 February 2016).
Second driver at Monte-Carlo will be Stephane Lefebvre, while in Sweden, the team will have three cars. Together with Meeke, the drivers at Swedish snow will be Khalid Al-Qassimi and Craig Breen. Cars will be prepared by the PH Sport team.
Extension of successful partnership
“After a successful three-year partnership with Citroën, we are pleased to maintain our presence in the WRC. It’s a programme that has been approved by Citroën Racing and which benefits from the expertise of PH Sport. As lead driver, Kris Meeke will contest several rounds, whilst prioritising his development work with Citroën Racing. We will also be aiming to provide opportunities for talented young drivers from the PSA Peugeot Citroën group. Supported by the expertise of the team, they will be able to add to their experience and show what they can do,” commented Khalid Al-Qassimi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Racing.
“Being able to contest a certain number of rallies in 2016 was important when deciding about my future. I would therefore like to thank Abu Dhabi, Total and all the partners who have made it possible for us compete in very good conditions at these events. This programme will enable me to keep my hand in as regards racing and continue to learn about the WRC events. From that point of view, it seemed essential to compete at Monte-Carlo. It is such an unpredictable rally, where experience counts more than anywhere else. I can’t wait to get back into the car for pre-event testing to prepare for this first race,” added Kris Meeke.