Despite winning the World Touring Car Championship for the second year running in 2015, Citroën decided to pull from the series in 2017 after decreasing the number of their factory cars by two for the 2016 season, turning Sebastien Loeb into a Peuegot driver in the process.
Citroën will also skip the 2016 WRC season to focus on the development of their 2017 car. You know, the one with the bigger turbo!
As far as the WTCC team goes, Citroën kept the currently double champion José María López and the four-time champion Yvan Müller on the payroll, which meant the man who scored them nine WRC championships ended this season without having a seat for the next one, sharing the fate of Ma Qing Hua.
According to Autosport’s report, Leob had this to say about his early departure:
I was surprised when I learned that I won’t move forward to defend the colours of Citroen Racing in 2016. We built this challenge in WTCC together, with the personal goal to get the drivers’ title in under three years. I am disappointed that the adventure stops after two years because I had the desire to go get this title. I had shown my competitiveness aboard the C-Elysee, with four wins in 2015 in particular.
A beautiful story comes to an end, but I don’t have any regrets. On the contrary, I keep the great memories. Citroen was my brand of heart. I lived incredible moments. And for that, I would like to thank all the people who have given me the opportunity to live my passion on a daily basis.
Leob spent his last 15 years racing for Citroën, and while he stays within the PSA Group after winning Pikes Peak for Peugeot and going to the desert with the parent company as well, this certainly marks the end of an era.
Photo credit: Citroën, Peugeot and Getty Images
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