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Information before the start of Neste Rally Finland emerged that Sebastien Loeb was going to test a Citroen C3 WRC, immediately raising rumours that the nine times World Rally Champion was about to make a WRC comeback.  

Citroen Racing team principal, Yves Matton, was pursued by journalists in the Jyvaskyla service park, and we were able to ask him directly what was going on.

Citroen Racing Team Principal Yves Matton (left) with Deputy Principal Marek Nawarecki. (Photo: Martin Holmes)YM: Sebastien Loeb had a common interest with us to do something.  He was keen to drive the new C3 WRC.

For us it was also interesting to have one more feedback on the car and he was keen to do it.  Keen to drive as a C3 World Rally Car, a 2017 World Rally Car,  out of curiosity rather than an intention to come back to rallying.  

Seb has always been interested to drive all kinds of motorsport vehicle and a 2017 World Rally Car is at the top of the ranking.

MH: Where abouts will the test be?

YM: We will not announce it because it would be a big mess. The only information I can tell you is it will be on asphalt on the first quarter of August, before Germany.

If we do an asphalt test before Germany, something will be interesting for sure.  His level of experience can help or confirm or give us some new ideas.  The idea is to do it before Germany.  

MH: Are there any plans for him to drive a car in competition?

YM: No.

MH: What is the ongoing situation with Andreas (Mikkelsen)?

YM: He will do Germany, but after that there is no other plan for the moment.

MH: He remains in the team or is he free to do what he wants?

YM: For the moment he’s in the team for sure, and after Germany we will see what we could do together in 2017 or in 2018, but for the moment there has been no discussion.  All that has been agreed for the moment is still Germany.

MH: Have you got a set schedule which driver does which event from now to the end of the year?

YM: I would say in my head, yes, but for sure I will say nothing for the moment.  The only thing I can tell you for the moment what will happen in Germany and then we will see what will happen to the end of the year after.  

The only thing I can say also is that we will only have three cars on each event.

MH: Finally, there have been reports you were saying earlier about giving up on the championship this year.

YM: Giving up is not the right term.  I would say that we are really focussed on 2018.  We are really working to try to achieve a winning car for 2018 and not really focussed on event by event this year.

- Martin Holmes

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