Citroen has confirmed it will expand its WRC programme to run a third car for Nasser Al-Attiyah during the 2012 season.
Al-Attiyah will drive a DS3 WRC identical in specification to those of Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen from Rally Sweden onwards, with the Qatari driver making his debut for the team once he has attempted to defend his Dakar Rally title.
“We're pleased to announce the arrival of Nasser Al- Attiyah at Citroen Racing,” team boss Olivier Quesnel said. “He's a complete all-round driver who already has considerable experience as proved by his impressive results. We're delighted that he's chosen our team to make his debut in a World Rally Car, and we're determined to put all our support behind him to help him move up to the top level.”
Al-Attiyah, who will run with Qatar branding on his car, admitted he was delighted to secure the Citroen drive having previously been linked to a WRC role with Volkswagen.
“I'm very happy to fulfill what's been both a dream and a sporting objective. We've done a lot of work on this project in the past few months and I'd like to thank Raouf Menhem for his involvement alongside me. I can't wait to get to know the team better and to test the DS3 WRC. It's still a bit early to fix myself objectives as I'm counting on acquiring experience not only with the engineering squad, but also with drivers as talented as Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen.
“I think I'll be able to score good results in the toughest rallies like Greece, for example. I also feel it's a very positive step that the WRC is being opened up to longer events. The experience I've gained in the Dakar will certainly be very useful as endurance skills are of supreme importance in these rallies.”