After its inaugural season in 2009, the Citroen Junior Team returns in 2010 with a driver line-up featuring the best in up-and-coming talent and a Formula One champion determined to make it as a WRC driver.
Registered as an FIA WRC Team, and therefore eligible to score points in the WRC manufacturers’ championship, Citroen’s Junior Team is all about developing the WRC stars of tomorrow. So while the top level factory team is the place to find championship contenders like Loeb and Sordo, the Juniors is where the next generation is being groomed.
Pitched as an alternative to Ford’s semi-works Stobart team, the 2009 Junior team had close ties with Citroen Racing and offered drivers the chance to compete in a top-level car with the support of the French manufacturer. In its first year, the Junior team driver line-up, and points nominations, varied rally-by-rally. The mainstays of the team were privateers Conrad Rautenbach and Evgeny Novikov, and 2008 J-WRC champion Sebastien Ogier – who was the only one under contract with Citroen.
It wasn’t all about youth, however, and other drivers, including the more experienced Chris Atkinson and Petter Solberg, also had the chance to prove their worth as part of the team.
This year the Citroen Junior Team will contest 12 of the 13 rounds (it will miss the long haul trek to New Zealand) with a more consistent driver line-up. After proving his potential in 2009, Sebastien Ogier returns for the full campaign, while the second C4 WRC will be driven by former Ferrari F1 star, Kimi Raikkonen.