WRC: Kris Meeke stays with Citroen for three more years
British rally driver Kris Meeke signed a new contract with Citroen Racing. Cooperation which started at the end of 2013 will be prolonged for three more seasons,until the end of 2018. Next year Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team will not compete in World Rally Championship, so Meeke’s main task will be to work on development of the new World Rally Car for 2017.
36-year-old Northern Irishman joined Citroen Racing at two events in 2013 (Finland and Australia), both finishing with accidents. In 2014 he became factory driver together with Mads Ostberg and finished the championship on 7th place. In 2015 Meeke scored his first ever WRC victory, driving Citroen DS3 WRC at Rally Argentina. Citroen took second place in Manufacturer’s standings and Meeke finished fifth. A month after Citroen announced one year hiatus in WRC programme Meeke confirmed he will stay with Citroen, while Mads Ostberg changed the team and joined Ford M-Sport.
Matton: Kris was undoubtedly the best choice
“Various options were available to me to pursue my career, but I chose to stay with Citroën Racing to reap the rewards of the work done over the last two years or more. It’s also a way of thanking the team for the faith they have shown in me. We now know each other very well and this understanding will be essential in developing the new car successfully. I’m very excited about everything that lies ahead in the next few months. I began my career in motorsport as a design engineer so although I can’t wait to get into the car, I’ll be following every stage of the design and assembly of the first car with great interest. I’m also very excited about the new FIA regulations, which look set to deliver more powerful and more spectacular cars! Obviously, all of this work is geared towards me being able to fight for more wins and for the world title. Citroën Racing is team with a winning mentality, with fifteen world titles, eight of which were won in the WRC. I am extremely pleased to be part of this new chapter in the history of such a prestigious Brand,” said Kris Meeke.
“In terms of our new programme, above all else we wanted an experienced, top-level driver, with sound technical knowledge. Kris was undoubtedly the best choice and we are delighted that he has decided to stay with us. We have a lot of shared history, with two seasons in the JWRC in the 2000s and then the last couple of years with the DS 3 WRC. However, the most important part of his career is ahead of him, with three seasons to develop and achieve success in the successor to the Xsara, C4 and DS 3 WRC! In 2016, the test programme will be the priority for Kris from April, when initial testing of the new car is set to begin. He will nonetheless keep his hand in as regards racing by taking part in several rounds of the World Championship. Initial details of this private programme will be revealed shortly,” added Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal.