Nasser Al-Attiyah has given thanks to Citroen
for his WRC programme in 2012 after completing his campaign in France.
Al-Attiyah will turn his focus to the Dakar Rally for the remainder of the season with a series of tests planned prior to the event early next year – meaning he is unable to compete in either Italy or Spain.
Theirry Neuville will take over his Citroen
DS3 WRC this weekend in Sardinia, as announced at the end of September, while Hans Weijs Jr will then be at the wheel of the Qatar World Rally Team machine for the season finale.
“I am very pleased that Thierry will be driving the Qatar World Rally Team's car in Sardinia,” Al-Attiyah said. “I am in the middle of preparations for the Dakar Rally and have to take part in a lot of testing, which means I cannot compete in the last two rounds of the championship.
“My WRC programme therefore ended in France and I would like to thank Citroen
for having given me the opportunity to race with them this season. It was a truly incredible year for me. Above all, more than any particular result, what I'll remember was the way the team welcomed me and the support I was given to help me to improve. What I have learned will be useful in the future, starting with the Dakar Rally.”
Neuville will be eager to build on the fourth place finish he secured in France last time out and said his target was to break onto the podium.
“My target is to finish on the podium at least once,” he said. “The result achieved in France has boosted our morale. We proved that we can go quickly without making any fatal errors. We managed to achieve this by working relentlessly with the team, but we are still learning. Not a day goes by at a rally when we don't learn something!”
As well as Weijs Jr joining the field for the season finale there will also be a fresh face in the M-Sport Ford line-up, with Trinidad and Tobago driver John Powell named alongside Ott Tanak for the event.