Friday | 18 Dec 2015

Meeke, Lefebvre and Breen join DS 3 squad

Kris Meeke, Stéphane Lefebvre and Craig Breen will compete in 2016 under the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team banner while Citroën Racing takes a back seat to prepare for its 2017 WRC return.

The trio will join team patron Khalid Al Qassimi at the new squad, which will be run in association with Citroën's customer racing division, PH Sport.

In a statement, the team confirmed its programme would include 'a selection of WRC rallies based in Europe' with between one and three cars at each event. It said the season would serve 'as a transitional stage' before Citroën Racing returns as a works team in 2017.

Lefebvre and team-leader Meeke are confirmed for the season opening Rallye Monte-Carlo (18-24 January), with the former partnered by new co-driver Gabin Moreau in place of Stéphane Prevot.

Three cars will be entered at round two in Sweden (11-14 February) for Meeke, Al Qassimi and new signing Craig Breen, who makes the step up from WRC 2. Accompanied by co-driver Scott Martin, the Irishman will make his debut in the DS 3 WRC.

Craig Breen will drive a DS3 World Rally Car in Sweden

Meeke, who this week signed a three-year deal with Citroën, revealed that being able to contest a certain number of rallies in 2016 was important when deciding his future.

"This programme will enable me to keep my hand in as regards racing and continue to learn about the WRC events," he said.

"From that point of view, it seemed essential to compete at Monte-Carlo. It is such an unpredictable rally, where experience counts more than anywhere else. I can’t wait to get back into the car for pre-event testing to prepare for this first race," he added.

After a three-year partnership with Citroën, Al Qassimi was pleased to maintain Abu Dhabi's presence in the WRC and provide opportunities for talented young drivers from the PSA Peugeot Citroën group: "Supported by the expertise of the team, they will be able to add to their experience and show what they can do,” he said. 

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