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Loeb tests C4 - first pictures


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Double champion Sebastien Loeb has tested the car that will spearhead Citroen's World Rally Championship return in 2007 for the first time. The Frenchman took the wheel of the C4 WRC, which Citroen will develop next year, after testing the privateer Xsara WRC he'll drive in 2006 in the south of France this week.

The development version of the C4 WRC has already been run at various times during the end of 2004 and 2005, as Citroen had planned to introduce the car midway through this year. The planned withdrawal of the French motor giant - along with sister company Peugeot - at the end of the 2005 season meant these plans were put on ice, but Citroen's recent decision to return to the WRC in 2007 after one year's sabbatical has meant that work on the car has started again.

Test driver Philippe Bugalski has been responsible for much of the work on the car, but Loeb has said that he's keen to be heavily involved in the development of the C4 WRC. He's retaining strong links with the Citroen team this year, despite being forced to defend his title in a privateer Xsara WRC run by Belgian outfit Kronos Racing.

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I think it's a shame that he will have to run a privateer because the PSA ( and now Skoda and Mitsubishi) have withdrawn from the WRC. The sport needs a strong person to focus and bring it back to it's course, or it will die. We only have two factory teams for next year :(

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