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GP Week : Issue 38
Last Men Standing: Quesnel and Malcolm Wilson are the lone rangers in the WRC these days in manufacturer terms, above. Meanwhile, in the IRC, Peugeot’s S2000 program is going fine, right. Quesnel says Sebastien Loeb, middle, is still motivated to winning World Championships, but will he ever rally the ‘green’ C4 WRC car, far right? Quesnel has started his work with Peugeot with an open mind about their rally activities. “Peugeot’s future is to stay in rallying for the benefit of its customers, especially with the 207 S2000 and the new 207 turbo.” The new 1.6-litre turbocharged 207 RC Rallye turbo car is a budget car for young drivers, first of all in France and then later abroad as well and is being homologated in the FIA’s Group R3T. This car is a forerunner of small standard cars which will be coming from all the manufacturers on to the market fitted with turbos. “This future trend is the same reason why rally manufacturers asked that the new World Rally Cars should still have a turbo. My corporate priorities, however, are to continue winning World championship rallies with the Citroen, secondly to win Le Mans with Peugeot. Then we can think about other ideas.” But how does he see the future of Sebastien Loeb? We hear so many rumours about him becoming disenchanted with the future of rallying, but what does 44 Quesne believe is the truth behind Loeb’s inspiration? “We doubt if he ever actually said this. In 2009 he will be driving the C4 World Rally Car, but of course with fewer events in the world championship calendar there are opportunities for other activities. So far as sports car racing is concerned, Le Mans clashes with the Acropolis, so Seb’s activities on the track will be limited in 2009 to making tests with the Peugeot. “I am sure that Loeb’s priorities still lie with rallying, and I am sure he will be rallying in 2010. I am also sure he will want to rally with the new Super 2000+ car, I believe it will be a fun car to drive, so it will be OK for him! Anyway he had just as much fun with the Super 1600 that he drove on Rallye du Var at the end of last year. “He still has full motivation for rallying. Rallying drives him on, but I am quite sure the moment he loses motivation he will immediately stop.” A big surprise in 2008 was the appearance of the hybrid C4 WRC. “I was asked by the company if I had any idea of what special car we could show at the Paris Salon last year. The hybrid idea came from our technical director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon who said we could make such a car. He is very keen on green aspects generally, this was up his street! We had been talking about green matters in general during the year already, so immediately I told him he could start to plan the car. “We did the project for ourselves, we did not do it at the request of the FIA at all. We were very surprised at how much interest it created. Now every motorshow organiser is asking if we can display it for them as well, and we gather that the FIA President Max Mosley said it was a very good idea.” The next development at Citroen Sport is the world championship Junior Team. “This is the responsibility of Benoit Nogier, obviously supported by myself and Xavier. They will use our 2008 specification C4 WRC championship cars. “There was originally a misunderstanding about Sebastien Ogier’s involvement with the Junior team. Ogier is not going to be nominated for championship points – for