Friday | 24 Oct 2014

News in brief: Kubica / Poland / Citroen

Robert Kubica hopes to finalise his plans for 2015 in the next month. Talking in Spain, the Pole acknowledged that another season in the WRC was one option he was considering. “For sure, there’s more to learn, but it’s easier [to stay] here, the experience will be more and the hard lessons learned this year I hope will not happen again,” he said. Kubica admitted he was considering both racing and rallying options, but downplayed speculation of a switch to Citroen Racing, which runs teams in both the WRC and WTCC. “Why Citroen?” he said. “I have a lot to learn in rallying, it’s a complex sport – you cannot learn in 12 months or the 15 rallies I did this year.”

Citroen Racing has been fined €10,000 and had seven of its Junior WRC cars excluded retrospectively from Rallye de France – Alsace for breaking FIA technical regulations. Rallye de France Stewards reconvened this week after the engine in Stephane Lefebvre’s championship-winning Citroen DS3 R3 was found to have a camshaft that didn’t match the homologation specification. Citroen Racing supplies all of the Junior WRC cars with identical engines and admitted it had made an error on the homologation form – putting a comma in the wrong place on the camshaft measurement. Lefebvre and the other Junior WRC finishers were excluded from all rally results except the Junior WRC classifications, and therefore retain their points. Citroen Racing was also ordered to pay €2,500 costs.

Stephane Lefebvre’s DS3 R3 was one of seven excluded from the French classifications

Citroen will announce its 2015 WRC driver line-up at around the time of Wales Rally GB (13-16 November). Team boss Yves Matton revealed that ‘less than 10’ names are under consideration, including current drivers Mads Ostberg and Kris Meeke. Last year’s WRC3 champion Sebastien Chardonnet has been linked to a seat with the French team, but Matton seemed to rule out a full-time role. “It’s always important for a French manufacturer to have a French driver, but we need him to win events and I am not sure there is a French driver ready to be in a manufacturer seat and score some points. This is too much pressure for a young French driver for a full programme.”

LOTOS Rally Poland, which regained its place in the FIA World Rally Championship this season after a five-year break, will be based in Mikolajki for the next 10 years under a new agreement signed this week. The town in the Masurian Lake District hosts the headquarters, service park and an adjoining super special stage.  

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