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Citroën Motor Sport Heritage

Citroën has a long history of involvement in motor sport, which started in the 1920s and continues today with Citroen's highly successful involvement in the World Rally Cup. The 2006 WRC Champion is Sebastien Loeb, who drives a Citroën Xsara.

The great expeditions

It all started in the 1920s when the great André Citroën decided that endurance rallies would be an excellent way of demonstrating the performance and reliability of the cars.

The first "Raid Citroën" started on 17th December 1922, when five cars with rear caterpillar tracks set off to cross the Sahara. Twelve weeks later they completed the journey, having driven over 4,300 miles in 40 days of travel.

The next adventure was in 1924/5 named La Croisière Noire, this route went from the Mediterranean to Madagascar.

Then came an expedition to Asia - La Croisière Jaune - the route went from Paris to Peking, a distance of 8,000 miles that took the participants through some extremely dangerous areas.

The last expedition was in western Canada in the autumn of 1934. Named La Croisière Blanche, the route went through Alberta and British Columbia. It took the participants into wild unmapped areas, where the conditions were so dreadful that for the first time an expedition had to be abandoned.

Rally Raids

In the 1960s Citroën organised 2CV Rally ‘Raids’, which were endurance races over thousands of miles across continents. These races were keenly contested by as many as hundreds of 2CVs and derivatives.

2CV Cross

Then in the 1970s came 2CV Cross – off-road racing for 2CVs, once again organised by Citroën and attended by thousands of enthusiastic spectators across Europe. Today a 2CV Cross championship still takes place in France, the meetings are well attended by contestants and spectators.

2CV Circuit Racing

In the 1980s 2CV circuit racing started in France and Belgium. The first 2CV 24-hour race was organised at the world-famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. This race is now in its 22nd year, with contestants travelling from from all over Europe to take part.

In 1988 a handful of motor-sport loving 2CV drivers went from the UK to see the race at Spa Francorchamps and came back amazed and keen to start racing. The 2CV Racing Club was set up and the first UK race took place at Mallory Park in 1989.

Further Information

If you would like to explore the history of Citroen and its cars, go to the official Citroen web site www.citroen.com where you will find some excellent information and photographs in the History section under the heading The Adventure.

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