Citroen has confirmed its driver crews for the 2017 World Rally Championship with Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre all being retained by the factory squad.
After a year out as a factory effort in WRC in order to prepare its 2017 challenger Citroen will return to action for a full campaign next year.
For 2017, manufacturer entries will be able to nominate two drivers to score manufacturer points for the team with the third only scoring driver points.
After Citroen confirmed Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle at the end of last year, the line-up is completed by two promising young crews in Craig Breen and Scott Martin along with Stephane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau.
All three crews have been signed until the end of the 2018 campaign. At the start of the season, Citroen has confirmed two C3 WRC entries will be used, one for Kris Meeke and the other alternating between Craig Breen or Stéphane Lefebvre, with Citroen aiming to run a third car on a full-time basis as soon as possible.
At some rounds of the 2017 World Championship, a fourth Citroën C3 WRC will also be entered for Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson.
“We had several scenarios regarding the choice of our crews for the future,” Yves Matton, Citroen Racing team principal, said. “Kris Meeke was confirmed at the end of last year and has become the natural leader of the team. As well as challenging for the lead on each of his appearances in 2016, winning in Portugal and in Finland, he has also done most of the development work for our Citroën C3 WRC.
“In choosing two young crews to complete the line-up, I don't think we can be accused of having gone for the easy option. But this original solution is very much aligned with Citroën's mindset. And having seen them compete this season for the Abu Dhabi Total WRT, we believe in the potential of Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre.
“At the start of the season, we'll have no choice but to have them take turns behind the wheel in the second Citroën C3 WRC. However, as soon as possible, our three crews will be starting each round. Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi is a true ambassador for rallying in the Middle-East and we are very pleased to support him in his approach.”