Citroën Junior Team
|Full name||Citroën Junior Team|
|Team principal(s)||Benoit Nogier|
|Chassis||Citroën DS3 WRC|
|World Rally Championship career|
The Citroën Junior Team is a World Rally Championship team, which competed in the 2009-2010 and 2012 seasons. It was set up and run as Citroën's secondary team in the World Rally Championship, pitched against the existing Stobart Ford World Rally Team.
The Citroën Junior Team was formed in 2009 following the withdrawal of manufacturers Subaru and Suzuki. It ran Citroën C4s for Russian Evgeny Novikov, Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach and Junior World Rally Championship champion Sébastien Ogier. It ran former Subaru driver Chris Atkinson rather than Novikov on the season-opening Rally Ireland, although despite a good performance, the Australian did not feature in the team again. Petter Solberg was nominated to score manufacturer points for the team at Rally GB. Solberg finished fourth there, with another driver of Citroën Junior Team Aaron Burkart finishing 12th in his first WRC rally with WRC car.
On 4 December 2009, it was announced that 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen would drive for the Citroën Junior Team for his switch to rallying. Räikkönen's co-driver would be Kaj Lindström who had partnered multiple world champion Tommi Mäkinen in the past, while Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were in a second car for the Junior Team.
Räikkönen and Lindström contested 12 out of the 13 rounds in the 2010 WRC season, missing only the Rally of New Zealand. They did not start at 2010 Rally Catalunya because of a crash at the pre-event shakedown.
Sébastien Ogier claimed Citroën Junior Team's best result, winning at 2010 Rally de Portugal. Because of his strong finishes he was promoted to Citroën World Rally Team for gravel rallies (Finland, Japan, Wales) while Dani Sordo switched to Citroën Junior Team for those rallies. The best result for Kimi Räikkönen was 5th place at 2010 Rally of Turkey.
The 'Junior Team' banner has been dropped for 2011, Citroen Racing Technologies instead focussing the brand's customer efforts on Petter Solberg, Peter van Merksteijn Jr. and Kimi Räikkönen's privateer campaigns.
Thierry Neuville entered the WRC after a successful two-year campaign in IRC with Peugeot 207 S2000 run by Peugeot BelLux. He won famous Rallye San Remo and Tour de Corse in 2011 season. Thierry did not compete in selected rallies and Citroën Junior Team did not compete in the manufacturers championship.
The team did not compete as WRC team in the 2013 season. Instead PH-Sport supported former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica in the European Rally Championship and World Rally Championship-2 campaigns driving Citroën DS3 RRC, which is prepared by the team.
Stephane Lefebvre won the WRC2 championship in 2014 and was rewarded with a number of selected outings in the WRC team in 2015 and 2016
With Citroën's decision to take a sabbatical as works team in preparations for 2017 PH-Sport took over as the manufacturer's de facto leading team. Competing under the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team the team will compete in selected events with Kris Meeke as their leading driver, while at some events the other cars will be shared between Stéphane Lefebvre, Craig Breen and Khalid Al-Qassimi. The team however is not registered as a manufacturer team and therefore the drivers are ineligible to score manufacturer points.
- "80e RALLYE MONTE CARLO 2012" (PDF). rallye-magazin.de. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
- "Citroen Junior Team Team Profile | WRC". Crash.Net. 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- "Solberg joins Citroen's Junior squad for Rally GB". wrc.com. WRC. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- Kimi Raikkonen signs with Citröen junior rally team AUSmotive.com, 4 December 2009