Sebastien Ogier has been rewarded for his superb World Rally Championship campaign so far this season with the opportunity to join the fully-fledged Citroen World Rally Team for three of the remaining seven rounds.
The Frenchman has been a revelation in 2010, defying his relative inexperience to win last time out in Portugal after impressively resisting six-time world champion Sebastien Loeb on the final day.
Having also scored in every round this season, Ogier will now act as team-mate to Loeb in the three remaining gravel events left on this season's calendar – Finland, Japan and Great Britain.
He will take the place of Dani Sordo, the Spaniard sticking with the factory team for the four tarmac-based rounds in Bulgaria, Germany, France and Spain but assuming Ogier's position in the Citroen Junior World Rally Team for the gravel events.
“Even if we currently hold the advantage in both World Rally Championship classifications, we need to make sure that every opportunity comes our way,” said Olivier Quesnel, the director of Citroen Racing.
“The 2009 season showed just how easily a favourable situation can reverse itself. Looking at the way things have gone in the first part of the season, it seems that Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia would be able to help us to achieve our objectives on gravel.
“But I do not want people to think that this reflects in any way badly on Dani Sordo and Marc Marti. They have had a slightly troubled start to the season and they need to get their confidence back. Driving in the Citroen Junior Team will give them the chance to compete without pressure and rediscover their form.
“Given the performance of our crews since the start of the season, I think that this will be the best line-up to help us meet our targets.”
Sordo, who is yet to win a round of the WRC, is currently sixth in the overall standings having scored his first podium of the season in Portugal.