Citroen World Rally team principal Yves Matton has confirmed the French firm's continued participation in the World Rally Championship, despite the withdrawal of its PSA stablemate Peugeot from endurance racing.
Peugeot's sudden departure from racing kick-started speculation about Citroen in the WRC, but Matton gathered his team, currently competing on the Monte Carlo Rally, in Valence today to reassure them about their future.
"I see everybody from the team this afternoon to tell them I have confirmation from Mr. [Frederic] Banzet, the manager of the [Citroen] brand, that our program continues and we have guarantees to be here in the future," he said.
Citroen has competed in the WRC since 2001, although it did take a year out in 2006 when the C4 WRC was being developed. The Versailles firm has taken 15 world rally titles in the last eight years. Matton added that further proof of Citroen's commitment came in the driver contracts it confirmed ahead of this season.
"The best proof is that we sign two years with Mikko [Hirvonen], three years with Nasser Al-Attiyah, with an option for two more. We are there for the future and we will stay after Sebastien Loeb retires," he said. "If we were not staying after Sebastien Loeb, what would be the point to have a young driver like Thierry Neuville signed now? We are staying."