Kris Meeke has signed a new three-year deal with Citroën to spearhead the development of the French manufacturer’s new World Rally Championship car.
Although Citroën is taking a sabbatical from the WRC in 2016, the British driver’s main task will be to work on development of Citroën’s new World Rally Car ahead of its full return to the series in 2017, when the series will adopt new technical rules.
As the only driver to regularly challenge the dominant Volkswagen drivers in this year’s WRC, Meeke has found himself much in demand, resisting overtures from Toyota to stay with Citroën.
He joined the factory team at the end of the 2013 season and scored his first outright WRC victory in Argentina earlier this year in a DS3 WRC. Now, he and co-driver Paul Nagle have signed a deal that will see them through until the end of the 2018 season.
“Various options were available to me to pursue my career, but I chose to stay with Citroën Racing to reap the rewards of the work done over the last two years or more,” said Meeke.
“It’s also a way of thanking the team for the faith they have shown in me. We now know each other very well and this understanding will be essential in developing the new car successfully. I’m very excited about everything that lies ahead in the next few months.
“I began my career in motorsport as a design engineer so although I can’t wait to get into the car, I’ll be following every stage of the design and assembly of the first car with great interest. I’m also very excited about the new FIA regulations, which look set to deliver more powerful and more spectacular cars.
“Obviously, all of this work is geared towards me being able to fight for more wins and for the world title. Citroën Racing is team with a winning mentality, with fifteen world titles, eight of which were won in the WRC. I am extremely pleased to be part of this new chapter in the history of such a prestigious brand.”
Meeke and Nagle will keep match fit by contesting a few WRC events as a privateer entry next season.