Motorsport: Citroen, Hyundai confirm 2017 driver line-ups

By Dale Budge

Craig Breen during Day Two of the WRC France. Photo / Getty Images
Craig Breen during Day Two of the WRC France. Photo / Getty Images

Citroen and Hyundai have confirmed their driver line-ups for the 2017 season with in-demand Belgian Thierry Neuville knocking back the French outfit and extending his stay with Hyundai.

Neuville will line-up alongside Kiwi Hayden Paddon and Spaniard Dani Sordo after inking a new two-year deal that will keep him with Hyundai until the end of the 2018 season.

"I'm delighted to extend my contract with Hyundai Motorsport for two more years," said Neuville.

"Although I had alternative options available, it seemed the most logical decision to keep up the great momentum we have within this team.

"The 2017 season will be a new era for the WRC with the revised regulations.

"We have shared very special moments together since the team's debut in WRC. Our first win together in Germany [in 2014] was one of my career highlights.

"With a new car next year, and even more ambitious targets, I am excited by what this next chapter will bring."

Having chased the Belgian for the past couple of months Citroen announced deals with current drivers Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre for 2017 to join already contracted star Kris Meeke.

The French manufacturer will make a full return to the championship having only entered selected rounds this season. While the team will begin with two cars and Breen and Lefebvre alternating in the seat a third car is expected to be ready early in 2017.

"In choosing two young crews to complete the line-up, I don't think we can be accused of having gone for the easy option," team principal Yves Matton said. "But this original solution is very much aligned with Citroën's mindset.

"And having seen them compete this season for the Abu Dhabi Total WRT, we believe in the potential of Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre. They have the natural talent, motivation and work ethic to win rallies."

Volkswagen have already contracted current drivers Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen and defending world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Ford and the returning Toyota are yet to confirm their line-ups.

- NZ Herald

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