Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT has confirmed Mads Osbterg has been named the full-time replacement for Kris Meeke for the remainder of the 2018 World Rally Championship.

After Meeke was sacked by Citroen after the Portugal event, Ostberg initially replaced the Northern Irish driver as part of a three-round deal which saw the Norwegian finish in sixth place on debut at Rally Sweden before repeating the result in Portugal along with fifth place in at the Italian round.

Ostberg will complete the remainder of the current WRC campaign for the French manufacturer with the only exception of RACC Rally Catalunya de Espana with Sebastien Loeb already confirmed in the second DS3 WRC car alongside Craig Breen.

“I'm delighted to have the opportunity to continue competing for Citroën Racing,” Ostberg said. “It was really great to be back with the team for these first three rallies, having previously worked together a few years ago now.

“I'm honoured by the trust that the brand and Pierre have placed in me. I'll be giving everything I can to pay them back in the best possible way at the next few rallies, especially as I'm starting to become familiar with the C3 WRC now and Rally Finland is coming up soon, my favourite weekend of the season. I'm convinced that we have all the qualities required to do well on these five additional appearances.”

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Citroen Racing boss Pierre Budar sees the remainder of the current season as “a rebuilding phase” for the French manufacturer and has full faith Ostberg can deliver to expectations at the five rounds he’ll contest starting next month at Rally Finland.

“We are now entering a rebuilding phase, already partly looking ahead to 2019, but before that, we have to finish this season as well as possible,” Budar said. “And Mads, both due to his experience of the world championship and with the C3 WRC, can undoubtedly help us to move forward in a calm, relaxed manner.

“He is consistent and that is reflected in the many minor places he has collected at almost all the events. He has also settled back into the team very smoothly.”

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