Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier has confirmed he will contest the balance of the World Rally Championship – a strong indication that he will be retained by the French manufacturer next year.
Ogier, the reigning Junior World Rally champion, had been tipped to sit Rally Australia out due to the cost of competing, but Citroen funded his trip down under and will continue to back him through the next two rallies.
"Finally, I know I am doing the whole year," said Ogier. "Doing the whole season is perfect for me. It's better for me to be doing rallies if I want to make good progress."
Ogier has turned his poor early-season form around and is now hoping for more C4 action next year.
"Nothing is sorted for next season," he said, "but I want to stay with Citroen. My year has been getting better and better.
"It was difficult at the start of the year, but I think it's normal to be like this when you are starting the WRC. I'm aiming to be close to the pace of drivers like Henning [Solberg] here in Australia. Let's see what happens after the start."
Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel said no decisions had been taken on the future of Ogier in the team for next season, but sources within the firm say the deal could already be done. Citroen did a similar deal with Dani Sordo in 2006, running the Spaniard in a private Xsara before bringing him into the factory squad a season later.