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(30/11/2013)  CITROEN says it will announce its drivers for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship on 16 December.

The team has advised media that the announcement of its WRC and World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) teams will be made at the Citroen Racing technical centre at Versailles, near Paris.

The drivers then will have less than seven weeks to prepare for the first round of the 2014 WRC, starting in Monte-Carlo on 14 January. M-Sport (Ford) and Hyundai also are yet to announce their drivers for Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Last month Citroen team boss Yves Matton said he was talking to five drivers about seats at the factory WRC team in 2014.

This year’s lead drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Dani Sordo were on Matton’s shortlist, as well as Mads Ostberg, Kris Meeke and Robert Kubica. Since then Francois Duval has been linked to a possible return to the squad he drove for in 2005.

Last month Matton said he wanted his 2014 line-up to feature at least one “new talent” who hadn’t won a rally or had been away from the WRC for a long time.

The only certainty is that Sebastien Loeb will drive a factory Citroen C-Elysee in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, completing his move out of the WRC.

Citroen has been heavily overshadowed by Volkswagen in the 2013 WRC. Of its main drivers, Sordo scored one win and Hirvonen none.

Hirvonen has been linked to a return to M-Sport following Thierry Neuville’s departure from the British outfit for Hyundai next season. The Finn’s six years at M-Sport, until he switched to Citroen at the end of 2011, netted him his maiden WRC round win, three championship second places and one third.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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