Citroen technical director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon has admitted he fears the arrival of VW in the WRC more than the threat from current rivals Ford and Mini.

With VW’s mooted WRC participation announcement, still homing. Mestelan-Pinon says the German firm’s major Dakar effort is an indication of how they would compete at rallying’s highest level.

Asked if Volkswagen would be a bigger rival than Ford and Mini, he replied: “Sure, it could be a factory team. WV is like Citroen. They try to win the race.”

Citroen has already come into conflict with Mini and Ford over the interpretation of regulations for the new wave of World Rally Cars, due to the radically smaller scale on which the French firm is building cars.

Mestelan-Pinon added: I hope VW come, it could help me.

WI is the manufacturer, they think like me. It’s a fight for me against Ford and Mini. If my job was to earn money, if my bonus at the end of the year was because of the money the team earns, I would say what they say.

Malcolm [Wilson, Ford team director] and David Lapworth [Prodrive technical director], they want to eam money – it’s the reality. It’s diificult. I don’t criticize anything, it’s like that.”

Citroen’s team principal Olivier Quesnel has hinted that the firm’s long-term future remains in the WRC. He said: “l think Citroen will be in rallying for the next 10 years.”

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