Rally

Citroen adds Ostberg for Australia, could boost Ogier WRC title bid

Citroen has entered a third C3 WRC to be driven by Mads Ostberg for next month’s season-closing Rally Australia to potentially boost Sebastien Ogier’s World Rally Championship title hopes.

After missing out on a Citroen seat to Ogier and Lappi in 2019, Ostberg has stepped back to help the team develop its new R5 car.

Ostberg finished third in Coffs Harbour in a C3 WRC last year and will benefit from a start position further down the order on day one this time around.

Ogier sits 28 points behind points leader and Toyota driver Ott Tanak going into next week’s penultimate round of the series in Spain.

If the title fight remains open, Ogier is likely to start Australia second on the road and will struggle with road cleaning through the opening day.

Having Ostberg potentially ahead of him through the weekend would allow Citroen to manipulate the running order in preference for Ogier.

The other significant news coming from the entry list for the November 14-17 event is Hyundai’s decision to leave Craig Breen out in favour of a line-up of Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Andreas Mikkelsen.

Rally Italy winner Sordo has performed well on dry gravel this year and Mikkelsen took victory in Australia in 2016 while at Volkswagen.

Mikkelsen’s future beyond Rally Australia remains unclear.

His agreement with Hyundai concludes at the end of this year and he has recently announced a split from his management team.

Twenty-six cars start the final WRC round of the season, with only a single WRC 2 Pro entry coming from Skoda for Jan Kopecky to supplement the 12 World Rally Cars.

Five WRC 2 cars have entered, with recently crowned Harry Bates and his brother Lewis bringing their Toyota Yaris AP4 cars.

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