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French Connection: Abu Dhabi Returns To WRC In New Partnership With Record-Breaking Citroën Racing

ABU DHABI, UAE, December 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

All-New Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Unveiled; Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi Back in WRC with Abu Dhabi Total Citroën World Rally Team; Abu Dhabi Racing to Pilot Emirate's International Motorsport Ambitions

Abu Dhabi, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates and home of the country's capital city, has agreed an historic partnership with nine-time World Rally Championship (WRC) winning manufacturer, Citroën Racing, to bolster the emirate's presence in global motorsport.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121206/582167 )

The three-year partnership between Citroën Racing and the newly-created Abu Dhabi Racing (ADR) - an Abu Dhabi-based company working on a number of expansive professional and grassroots motorsport initiatives - will see the two full-works manufacturer teams, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team and the Abu Dhabi Total Citroën World Rally Team, participate in the WRC as of next season's opening round in Monte Carlo, running January 18-20. Both teams and all registered drivers in the new Citroën - Abu Dhabi stable will be eligible to score manufacturers' points.

"In Abu Dhabi, we have a long-term partner that will preserve Citroën's position at the summit of global rallying," said Yves Matton, Director of Citroën Racing and Team Principal of Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. "Over the last decade, the team has enjoyed monumental success. Vitally, we now have a formidable partner that shares our ambition to continue setting the pace in the WRC and international off-road motorsport."

As part of the agreement, the UAE's most successful international rally driver in terms of WRC points, Sheikh Khalid All Qassimi is back in the WRC next year. Al Qassimi will contest eight WRC rounds for Abu Dhabi Total Citroën World Rally Teamin theall-new Abu Dhabi-branded DS3 WRC, which was unveiled today at the team's international launch at Monte Carlo Beach Club Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi.

On WRC rounds where nine-time world champion, Sebastien Loeb, is participating, the legendary Frenchman will drive for Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team alongside Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, with Spain's Dani Sordojoining Al Qassimi in the Abu Dhabi Total Citroën World Rally Team. When Loeb, who is contesting a shortened schedule next season, is not in action, Sordo will pilotthe second manufacturers' points-scoring car for Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.

Additionally, the all-new Abu Dhabi Total Citroën World Rally Team will contest the 2013 Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) - the first-time in history a full WRC works team has participated in the region's premier off-road motorsport series - with Al Qassimi scheduled to complete the series' entire calendar.

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