Citroen Sport have today revealed that Colin McRae will not drive for them in 2004, having opted to keep Carlos Sainz.

Citroen were left with a choice between either McRae or Sainz, following changes to regulations that mean only two cars entered per manufacturer will be eligible to score points next year.

Three car were fielded by the French team this season, with Sebastien Loeb racing alongside McRae and Sainz, Loeb was resigned back in July, which meant only one seat remained following alterations to the format of the WRC.

Guy Frequelin, Citroen's team boss, told BBC Sport Online: "This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make in my career.

"The qualities of one or the other were never in doubt. In an ideal world, we would want to be able to keep both of them."

Sainz and Loeb have both outperformed McRae this year, the Spaniard winning the Rally of Turkey while the Frenchman has secured victories in Germany and on the opening Monte Carlo Rally.

In the drivers' championship, Sainz has scored 48 points, and is joint second overall with Petter Solberg, while Loeb is fourth on 45.

McRae meanwhile has yet to win this season, and has scored only 33 points, he is seventh currently in the standings, his best result a second place.

McRae's options for the future in the World Rally Championship look limited, Subaru have confirmed Richard Burns and Solberg for 2004, while Peugeot have Marcus Gronholm, Harri Rovanpera and Freddy Loix - the latter now unlikely to race due to the changes in the rules announced this week. Ford has contracts with both Markko Martin and Francois Duval, which leaves only Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Skoda - none of which are likely to be that competitive, although Mitsubishi might be the best option. This would be by no means clear cut though, especially after the Japanese manufacturer axed his brother, Alister, in favour of Gilles Panizzi at the end of August.

If McRae does opt to leave the WRC - and maybe take a sabbatical from rallying, he may consider racing elsewhere, some sources suggest that he may switch to the ASCAR Days of Thunder series, however at the moment this is nothing more than speculation.

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