Citroen unveiled its new livery today for the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship.
The presentation took place in Abu Dhabi and follows the announcement at the Paris Motor Show that the UAE capital will become the title partner for the eight-time World Rally Championship-winning team.
“We are very proud to have forged a relationship with a partner that is as prestigious and dynamic as Abu Dhabi,” said Citroen team principal, Yves Matton.
“Like our long-time partner Total, Abu Dhabi will be visible across all our 2013 programmes: on the works teams competing in the WRC and the MERC (Middle East Rally Championship), but also in the Citroën Racing Trophy held in the main countries in Europe.
"Together, we are also committed to establishing a rally driver development programme with Abu Dhabi Racing.”
Following Sebastien Loeb's decision to end his full-time WRC career, Mikko Hirvonen will lead the squad's assault next year, taking in all 13 events.
“Now that I have my first season with Citroen under my belt, I feel ready for this new challenge,” said Hirvonen. “I have been World Championship runner-up four times, so the next logical step is to aim for first place!”
Dani Sordo meanwhile has been confirmed for 'at least' 11 rounds, while Loeb will do four and Khalid Al-Qassimi will do eight.
Al Qassimi will also be looking to win the Middle East Rally Championship again, where he will pilot a Citroën DS3 RRC sporting Abu Dhabi Citroën World Rally Team decals.
“Joining such a successful team and competing on two fronts will undoubtedly help me to keep improving. After winning the title for the first time in 2004, winning the MERC again will be my main goal,” he remarked.
The Middle East Rally Championship will also provide two young drivers with the chance to acquire valuable experience in a Citroen DS3 R3. The crews will be selected for this programme following a qualifying event in Citroen DS3 Racing cars held on December 7-9 at the Yas Marina circuit.
“The varied and difficult nature of the Middle East Rally Championship will ensure it emphasizes the qualities of the DS3 R3. The drivers will be selected using the same methodology that we apply in our European promotional formulas, and they will enjoy the same backing and support, geared toward helping them to improve in our programme,” explained Marek Nawarecki, Citroen's Customer Racing manager.