Tuesday, 16 March 2021 22:09

Mads Østberg look to secure a second WRC 2 World title

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Citroën Racing renews its faith in Mads Østberg and his co-driver Torstein Eriksen, longstanding members of the #C3Rally2Family, as C3 Rally2 aims to defend its WRC 2 world title.

The Tagai Racing Technology team, on behalf of which the Norwegian crew is already competing in the Hungarian Rally Championship, will be in charge of running this new programme among the elite of Rally2 racing.

With more than 130 World Rally Championship races under his belt – and no fewer than 18 podiums secured in the top-tier category – Mads Østberg is unquestionably one of the leading figures of world rallying. A key member of the Citroën Racing family for a number of years now, the Norwegian has over time established himself as the ideal driver to develop the new spearhead of Citroën Racing's customer racing range: C3 Rally2. His experience of top-level racing, combined with the expertise of the Citroën Racing engineers, has enabled C3 Rally2 to become one of the most powerful weapons in its class.

Having secured four overall wins in the WRC 2 on a variety of tricky surfaces such as the ice of Monte-Carlo, the Swedish snow, the fast and rough gravel roads of Estonia and the Italian asphalt, Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen claimed the WRC 2 world title in 2020 in the C3 Rally2. This title crowns the others won by in Europe by Alexey Lukyanuk, in France by Yoann Bonato and Jean Baptiste Franceschi, in Italy by Andrea Crugnola and in Spain by Pepe Lopez.

Already committed to a new venture in taking on the specific challenge of Hungarian roads in the C3 Rally2, the Mads Østberg-Torstein Eriksen pairing has decided, with the backing of Citroën Racing, to defend their WRC2 world title. The crew will be able to count on the proven competitiveness of C3 Rally2, especially now that it features new upgrades introduced this winter by the French manufacturer.

In addition to the eight rounds contested in Hungary, Mads Østberg and Citroën Racing will therefore be competing at seven events on the WRC calendar in a full WRC 2 programme, the precise details of which are yet to be defined.

WHAT THEY SAID...

Didier Clément, Head of Customer Racing, Citroën Racing

"Mads Østberg is one of a select number of drivers who have claimed an overall win at a round of the World Rally Championship, so he certainly has nothing to prove in terms of his speed. After winning the WRC 2 world title with C3 Rally2 in 2020, we are proud to pursue our working relationship with him, one that goes back many years now. Mads is an esteemed member of the #C3Rally2Family. Our goal is clear for this new season in the WRC 2: win another World Championship title. Mads and C3 Rally2 form the ideal combination to reach our goal."

Mads Østberg, C3 Rally2 driver in the WRC 2

"Obviously, I'm very happy to be able to continue all the work done with Citroën Racing. We have got to know each other well over the years and the world title won in 2020 clearly illustrates just how effective our working relationship is. I was heavily involved in the development of C3 Rally2 and I'm proud to be able to drive it in the upper reaches of world rallying. Defending the title with a new team is going to be a big challenge. We have worked a lot with Citroën Racing and TRT to put together this programme and it took a while to reach a decision. I'm convinced we have found the right solution to reach our goals."