Thierry Neuville, who is recognised as one of the rising stars in world rallying, will drive a Citroën DS3 WRC in the 2012 World Championship. The Belgian will race in a minimum of nine events.
Citroën Racing, which is heavily committed to the training and promotion of young drivers, will give Thierry Neuvillethe opportunity to prove himself at the highest level of world rallying. The 22-year-old-driver from Saint-Vith in Belgium will be at the wheel of a Citroën DS3 WRC prepared by Citroën Racing Technologies.
Backed up by his fellow-countryman, Nicolas Gilsoul, Neuville will race in nine of the thirteen rallies in the 2012 World Championship: Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Mexico, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Finland, Germany and Great Britain. Depending on how the season unfolds, the French and Spanish rallies could be added to this programme.
Neuville made a name for himself by winning the Belgian Citroën Racing Trophy in 2009. In 2010, he drove a Citroën C2 S1600 in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), and he also raced in his first IRC rallies at the wheel of a Peugeot 207 S2000. In 2011 he won the Tour of Corsica and San Remo rallies and was also in contention for the IRC title right up until the last event.
Olivier Quesnel, Citroën Racing Team Principal, commented: “Citroën Racing has been keeping a close eye on Thierry Neuville’s career for several years now. We felt that the time had come to give him a chance at the topmost level. Like Sébastien Loeb, and more recently Sébastien Ogier, Thierry will find himself in a team that will help him complete his training and consolidate it with results. It’s up to Thierry and Nicolas to seize this opportunity!”
Thierry Neuville said: “Ever since the moment I had the opportunity to drive the Citroën DS3 WRC in testing I’ve been dreaming of racing it. It’ll be the case in the Monte Carlo Rally, and I have to admit that I still have difficulty believing it! The 2011 season was a very positive one with two victories in two legendary rallies, the Tour of Corsica and the San Remo.
I had to move up another step on the ladder and I’m very proud that Citroën Racing has put its trust in me for 2012. I’ll do everything in my power to repay their confidence. My aim for the coming weeks is not to skip any stages, listen to the advice I’m given and understand how the team and the car work.