Citroen Racing team principal, Olivier Quesnel has predicted that the World Rally Championship will be back on top in two years thanks to the measures announced by the World Motor Sport Council last week.
A statement from the FIA, on the eve of last weekend's Rally Poland, said that the changes have been 'heralded as a major step forward for the WRC by all the major stakeholders', and 'is the start of a brave new world for the series'.
Speaking prior to the eighth round in this year's World Rally Championship, Quesnel concurred that decisions taken are good.
However he was less impressed with the calendar for next season and was critical about the inclusion of Bulgaria, which is provisional and subject to the 2009 Observer's report. He is also sad that the Rallye Monte Carlo has again be left off.
“Yes, I am quite sure for the WRC it is good,” he replied when asked about his initial feelings on the decisions made by the WMSC.
“The regulations and the engine we know will be a 1.6-litre turbo for 2011. For us it is okay and new manufacturers will come soon. I am quite sure that rallying and the WRC will again be on top in two years.
“We got the calendar for 2010 as well but, honestly, it is not the best calendar we could wish for. I would prefer to go to Monte Carlo.
“We have to ensure that we go to events where there is a car market. Going to Bulgaria is not too good for Citroen. We do not sell too many cars in Bulgaria and we prefer to go to countries where we sell cars.”
Rally Poland meanwhile was a trying one for Citroen after number one driver Sebastien Loeb went off on the opening day.
The Frenchman did recover though, and thanks to some help from Citroen Junior Team's Conrad Rautenbach and Evgeny Novikov and following Jari-Matti Latvala's late error, Seb still finished seventh. That result, in combination with the second place notched up Dani Sordo, actually allowed Citroen to strengthen its position in the manufacturers' race.
“It's been a difficult weekend,” Quensel summed-up, “but Citroen is the team which has come away with the highest number of points.
“We have extended our cushion at the top of the Manufacturers' championship to 17 points and Sebastien is now only one point behind Mikko Hirvonen in the Drivers' standings [with four rounds to go].”