Citroen Racing principal Yves Matton says the one-off return of Sebastien Loeb to the team has given the manufacturer a boost as it seeks a return to winning ways in the 2015 World Rally Championship.
Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena guided the manufacturer to an unprecedented nine World Rally Championship wins between 2004 and 2012, a dominant run of success that has earned him the mantle as one of motorsport's greatest competitors.
Having retired in 2013 to pursue a career in circuit racing, most recently with Citroen in the World Touring Car Championship, Loeb will kick-start his 2015 season with a one-off outing on the Monte Carlo Rally.
Though it is his first event since the Rallye de France in 2013, Loeb is nominated to score points and is being tipped to add to his seven wins on the event. If he does, it will be Citroen's first WRC win since the 2013 Rally Germany.
“Monte-Carlo is a very important rally for Citroën Racing,” says Matton. “The context at the start of the season, with the one-off return of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, makes it all the more special! We know that they will come under great scrutiny and that just the fact of being here will cause a stir. For the entire team, this first round has been eagerly awaited.
“We'll get to see the results of several months of work. The DS 3 WRCs have been upgraded with the aim of increasing performance. Our rivals have undoubtedly made improvements too, so we have to manage to remain competitive.
“Our aim is to remain among the best and the efforts of the team, its experience, the return of Sébastien Loeb and the progress made by Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg are our strengths.”
As well as Loeb, Kris Meeke is nominated to score points, while Mads Ostberg will race in a third DS3.