Citroën Racing ends World Rally Championship programme with immediate effect

The team have said Sébastien Ogier's departure left them with no choice

Citroën Racing will not compete in the 2020 World Rally Championship season after confirming their departure from the series today.

The tweet announcing the team's withdrawal cited six-time WRC champion Sébastien Ogier's as yet unconfirmed move to Toyota as the reason for leaving, with "the absence of a first-class driver" available for next year.

On previous occasions where the French manufacturer has left the series – in 2005 and 2016 respectively – a new car was in development for the following season.

This time around, there is no sign of a return as the Versailles-based squad has already confirmed it would not be involved in the hybrid era of the WRC from 2022.

This, coupled with the fact that the PSA (Citroën's parent company) is committed to DS' Formula E programme as well as Peugeot's recently-announced return to top-tier endurance racing means that the squad will be unlikely to return any time soon.

The move ends an incredibly successful stint in the series, with a total of eight championships in the decade after they arrived in 2001, with Sebastien Loeb becoming the most successful rally driver ever with nine straight titles.

Citroen CEO Linda Jackson said: "Our decision to withdraw from WRC programme as early as end of 2019 follows on Sébastien Ogier’s choice to leave Citroën Racing. We obviously have not wished this situation but we could not imagine 2020 season without Sébastien.

"I would like to thank Citroën Racing team for their passion and commitment. A part of Citroën’s DNA is intimately linked with the rally and we are proud to be one the most titled brands in WRC History with 102 victories and 8 manufacturer titles."

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Comments (20)

  • I find it hard to believe ogier leaving was the sole reason. Seems to me they turned him into the scapegoat which is incredibly childish. Maybe they should look at why he left "ahum, the car" and start from there.

      8 months ago
    • The World isn't straight forward. An automotive group like PSA can't go ahead and say that they don't want to spend 40 mio for another season with a different driver lineup as originally intended, which realisticly would leave them with the...

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        8 months ago
    • What a shame!! Citroen is unable to secure a Top gun?? Hahahahaha!!! Yeah!! We believe their story!! It’s like saying that Ferrari is pulling out of F1 because Vettel & LeClerc are leaving!!! Citroen, When was the last time you got on the...

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        8 months ago
  • I wont miss em since their cars are ugly, but damn, another weak ass manufacturer pulling up from real racing to focus on weak ass formula e. Smh

      8 months ago
    • At least Pegueot is coming back to motorsport

        8 months ago
    • Peugeot will race in the WEC from 2021 with a Oreca build Hybrid Supercar run by the Rebellion team . This why the Citroen exit the sport . The PSA can't run 3 hybrid/electric motorsport programe alongside .

      Formula E -> DS Automobiles

      WEC ->...

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        8 months ago
  • So the main WRC is only going to have 3 teams (as far as we know), or did I miss something?

      8 months ago
  • Maybe Peugeot will get back into rally with another historical brand they recently acquired: Lancia...

      8 months ago
    • It's a 50-50 merger meaning PSA can't just decide to go rallying with Lancia, just as Fiat can't turn around and say they'll start rallying with Vauxhall.

        8 months ago
  • There must be more than that.

      8 months ago
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