Seat swap in WRC

In a move to counter Volkswagen and Sébastien Ogier’s supremacy in the World Rally, rival teams worked hard in the few weeks following the end of the Wales Rally, the final round of 2013, on 17 November.

Volkswagen is yet the lone team that has not changed their driving line-up as champions Ogier-Julien Ingrassia still share the German manufacturer’s garage with Jari-Matti Latvala - Miika Anttila .

Frenchman’s aim is obviously to defend his title and help VW to do the same. "We have developed many details in the Polo R WRC ," said Team Principal Jost Capito . "We look forward to new challenges. “We are ready to defend our titles," Ogier said.

Ogier took 9 wins out of 13 rallies in 2013 but he faces revived opponents who made the most of a 61-day off-season to recover. Citroën and M -Sport have changed all their drivers while Qatar World Rally Team has bowed out and Hyundai came back to global competition for the first time in ten years.

Korean brand whose team is under Michel Nandan’s management, one of the key engineers Peugeot’s success in the past, attracted 2013 runner up Thierry Neuville. The Belgian will be the N.1 driver with Dani Sordo, leaving Citroën only a year after his return, Chris Atkinson and Juho Hanninen alongside him.

Citroen, who also run an important WTCC program this year involving WRC legend Sebastien Loeb banked on youth and north Ulsterman Kris Meeke, 34, and Norvegian Mads Ostberg, 26. "The team has expertise and experience that will help our crew to stay among the references of the Championship. Kris and Mads will both learn in different areas, "said the Chevrons boss Yves Matton. "Our goal is to get them to a level that allows them to make coups and win rallies."

Finn Mikko Hirvonen also left Citroen after two seasons to be back at Ford and M- Sport, 2013 third in the makers Championship. Team director Malcolm Wilson also ensured one of the most eyecatching signings with the former F1 Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica. Polish rookies joins as WRC2 champion. Three years after an horrendous rally crash that nearly cost his arm in Italy, he came back to the highest level in a season that should be plusating.

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