Wednesday | 24 Sep 2014

News in Brief: Monte / Loeb / Citroen

A selection of stories that are making the news in the WRC:

Monte changes: Rallye Monte-Carlo organisers have amended the itinerary for the opening round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.

The provisional route announced in July scheduled a morning shakedown near Gap on Thursday 22 January. It will now take place from 16.00 - 20.00 the previous day.

Sunday’s final leg now comprises two identical tests over Col de Braus, which sandwich the famous Col de Turini stage in its full 31.66km format. The second pass over Col de Braus will form the Power Stage.

Sébastien Loeb - back in a rally car

Master returns: Sébastien Loeb will make a one-off return to rallying when he drives a Citroen DS3 WRC in the final round of the French Championship, Rallye du Var (28 - 30 November).

It will be his first event since winning last November’s Condroz Rally in Belgium and he will be co-driven by wife Séverine. They won Var by almost two minutes in 2009 in a Citroen C4.

Since leaving WRC 12 months ago after winning nine world titles, the Frenchman has been competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. That series ends two weeks before Rallye du Var.

“I haven’t driven a rally for a while and I’m fully concentrated on my WTCC programme, but rallying is my first love. I’m looking forward to being at the wheel,” said Loeb.

stepping up - Junior WRC drivers sampled a Citroen DS3 WRC

Juniors’ DS3 test: Junior WRC frontrunners Stéphane Lefebvre and Martin Koci tested a Citroen DS3 WRC for the first time during a presentation at Issoire race circuit in France.

JWRC leader Lefebvre and second-placed Koci sat alongside Citroen WRC drivers Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg before taking the wheel on a gravel stage.

“These tests are always too short!” said Lefebvre. “I felt on the pace straight away. Although I don’t know my times and there’s no point comparing them with the other drivers, I can say that I had a really good feeling in the car.”

WRC 2 driver Sébastien Chardonnet and Laurent Laskowski, winner of the French federation’s young driver scheme in 2012, also drove the DS3 WRC.

“Sitting alongside two of the best drivers in the WRC gave them the chance to assess how far they still have to go,” said Citroen boss Yves Matton. “The experience they had when they drove the DS3 WRC on gravel is undoubtedly just the first step of the journey.”

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