PARIS: Citroen and their nine-times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb will race on circuits next season in the FIA World Touring Car championship (WTCC),said the French manufacturer.
Loeb is not contesting the world rally title this year, opting instead for a limited programme of events, and he is eager to return to full time racing.
“It’s a bit of a dream to think that we are going to write a new chapter in our history. I can’t wait to get out on track in the car and start testing,” he said in a Citroen statement announcing the new venture.
“I have used this transitional year to try out various experiences and to improve my track driving skills. I don’t expect to win straight away, but I am determined to get there one day.”
Citroen brand head Frederic Banzet said involvement in the touring car championship would help to develop the brand in promising growth markets such as China, Russia and South America.
The manufacturer will continue to compete in the world rally championship.
“Obviously, we’re still committed to rallying and we’ll continue to work hard to try and get the best possible result in 2013,” said Citroen Racing head Yves Matton.
“Our partnership with Abu Dhabi is set to be reinforced, enabling us to continue to be involved in WRC with a new system and with new objectives.”
Matton said Citroen would be able to use much of their existing expertise on the WTCC project as well as the DS3 WRC car’s 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine.