Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel says he does not fear Volkswagen and its reported monster budget for next year's World Rally Championship.
VW is expected to confirm its WRC program at Rally Portugal later this month and, with some sources reporting a budget of 100 million euro [$138m] the team is expected to arrive in the sport at the highest possible level. But despite the talk of a big-money new rival, Quesnel remains confident in Citroen's ability to keep on winning.
"They did the same [big budget] in Dakar," said Quesnel, "and Mitsubishi won with no money. And, don't forget, Mitsubishi was red too! No, I don't worry about this, this is the way the German guys can work. For me, it's good for the sport and for the championship that they are coming and that we have Mini as well."
It has yet to be decided whether Volkswagen will continue to run its Dakar entry alongside the WRC effort, but its motorsport director Kris Nissen has previously suggested that with the investment already made in the Race Touareg 3, running the two programs side-by-side would not be prohibitive.
Volkswagen has won the Dakar for the last three straight years, ending Mitsubishi's seven-year run in 2009. Citroen has won six of the last eight World Rally Championship manufacturer titles and taken Sebastien Loeb to the last seven drivers' titles.