During the French round of the FIA WTCC at the Paul Ricard Circuit this weekend, the Citroën Racing team received a visit from His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
With seven championship victories between 2003 and 2013, Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and Citroën Racing have made quite a mark on the modern history of the Monte-Carlo Rally. Flying the flag for Monaco the world over, Daniel Elena has become the Principality’s most decorated sportsman, with 78 rally wins and nine World Championship titles.
So when His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco visited the French team in the paddock of the Paul Ricard Circuit, he greeted them as friends. After a tour of the pits with Daniel Elena, the prince was given a taste of track action, going for a spin in a two-seater Citroën C-Elysée WTCC alongside Sébastien Loeb.
Citroën Racing Team Principal Yves Matton then presented the Sovereign Prince with the DS3 WRC that won the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo 2013. The car is to be added to the Monaco Top Cars Collection, initiated by Prince Rainier III and displayed in a specially prepared exhibition hall next to the Terrasses de Fontvieille, at the foot of the Rock of Monaco.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco said: “This has been a terrific experience for me and I would like to thank Sébastien [Loeb] for taking the time to take me out in the car, which was a real thrill. I already knew this circuit well, as I have raced here myself, but what I experienced today was something else! It’s also very exciting to have this World Rally Championship-winning Citroën join the collection created by my father, which I try to improve year by year. It will have a special place.”
Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing commented: “Citroën Racing has great memories of participating in the Monte-Carlo Rally, not least the 1-2-3 achieved by Sébastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae at the 2003 edition. But the thing we will remember best about Monaco is Daniel Elena! He is synonymous with the team, and it’s a kind of tribute to him be giving a Citroën DS3 WRC to the Monaco Top Cars Collection.”
Daniel Elena said: “With two prestigious events, the Grand Prix and the Rally, Monaco is pretty much the world capital of motorsport! My heart will always lie with Citroën and I’m proud to see “my” DS3 WRC join Prince Rainier III’s collection. It’s a lovely gesture for my country, which will allow the people of Monaco and visitors from all over the world to come and admire a marvellous car.”