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Citroen Sport boss Guy Frequelin has upset Irish rally fans with his comments that Rally Ireland should not be a round of the WRC.

Frequelin, in Ireland for this weekend’s Donegal Rally, in which Sebastien Loeb will compete as a ‘test’ for Rally Ireland, reportedly told the English Autosport magazine, “I’m sorry, but Ireland is not big enough. And anyway, we already have an event in GB – which is close enough.  People were not happy when we had Turkey, Cyprus and Greece on the calendar because they were too close (in proximity) – this is the same problem. What’s the point if we can’t sell cars there?”

Rally Ireland co-promoter, Ronan Morgan, hit back, saying, “There’s an awful lot more to Ireland than its car market. The TV images from Ireland will be stunning. It’s a country we want to show off.  As well as that, we have a variety of marketing initiatives which we are working on with the FIA.  Maybe we should be judged after the event.”

Frequelin’s views are not new but are unlikely to be helpful as Ireland seeks to secure a permanent place in the WRC from 2009 onwards.  

The Frenchman is due to retire from his post as head of Citroen Sport at the end of the year.

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