Peter van Merksteijn Jr is to drive a new Citroen DS3 WRC on ten rounds of the 2011 World Rally Championship.
The Dutchman's car will be entered under the Van Merksteijn Motorsport banner but with full factory support from Citroen Racing 'under the same conditions as this year's Citroen Junior Team'.
“Last year we won the Dutch rally title with Bernhard Ten Brinke and this year we have focused on preparing for the 2011 WRC season, Van Merksteijn Motorsport team manager Gerard Grove said. “The regulations for next year have changed dramatically and we wanted to be fully prepared at the start of the season.
“However, the available options were limited as there are only a few WRC cars available for next season. Therefore we are very excited that Peter van Merksteijn junior has the unique opportunity to enter in the WRC with an official factory car of Citroën Racing, the DS3 WRC.”
Van Merksteijn Jr will make his first appearance of the season on Rally Sweden in February after a testing programme which will see him running alongside factory Citroen pair Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier.
“The last few year I was unable to free myself enough from my full business schedule to drive rallies, and when I drive I want to do it the right way or not at all,” he said. “For 2011 I will be fully dedicated to the rally sport since I have been given the unique chance to drive a factory car. And Citroën's new rally car, the Citroen DS3 WRC seems me to be a super rally car to drive with. After all, World champion Sebastien Loeb has full trust in the DS3 WRC.
“I have ten WRC events scheduled for next year with which I am eligible to score points for the championship. I am looking forward to starting in these planned WRC events with the Rally Australia as preliminary highlight.”