You were in Qatar for the first round of the Middle East Rally Championship. What did you think of it?
“I have followed the MERC for several years now, and Citroën’s involvement will contribute to the rapid development of motorsport in this part of the world. Khalid Al Qassimi led for much of the rally before dropping back to second, but he proved that the Citroën DS3 RRC was a formidable weapon on this kind of event. As there are only six rounds, this championship is first and foremost about consistency. With the 18 points he earned for second place, Khalid had a very successful first round. Mohammed Al Sahlawi and Mohammed Al Mutawaa, our two young drivers competing in DS3 R3s, also learned a great deal.”
Turning our attention to Rally Sweden… It’s quite surprising to see Sébastien Loeb take part in an event where he hasn’t much success in the past!
“Yes, that was our initial reaction when we first discussed his 2013 programme with Seb! But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Seb and Daniel are above all competitors, and the idea of tackling a surface that they have found testing can only serve to motivate them. They quickly fell out of contention for the win last year, but they had the pace to challenge for first place.”
A few weeks ago, you talked about the possibility of additional drivers competing in DS3 WRCs. Do you have any news on that?
“As Khalid is unable to take part in Rally Mexico, he wanted us to entrust the DS3 WRC of the Abu Dhabi Citroën Total WRT to Chris Atkinson and Stéphane Prévot for this rally. Chris competed in the 2012 edition and we know he has the potential to do Abu Dhabi Racing proud. Benito Guerra, the 2012 P-WRC Champion, will also be taking part in his home rally in a private DS3 WRC.”