Citroen has confirmed that a partnership with Abu Dhabi has enabled it to maintain its presence in the World Rally Championship next year.
Following a 13 per cent drop in road car sales on the first half of 2011, Citroen was instructed to source 60 per cent of its WRC team's operating budget externally in order to maintain the programme.
As late as last week, director general of Citroen Frederic Banzet confirmed to AUTOSPORT that nothing was confirmed for next season.
However Abu Dhabi has now fulfilled that obligation. There is no news on the length of agreement with Abu Dhabi.
In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Citroen confirmed that eight-time world champion Sebastien Loeb will tackle a full season in 2013, instead limiting his participation to his favoured events.
Mikko Hirvonen will be joined by another driver - who will contest the rallies missed by Loeb - and Khalid Al-Qassimi, who returns to the WRC with Abu Dhabi backing.
Citroen team principal Yves Matton said: "We are particularly proud to welcome Abu Dhabi on board. This partnership will provide is with the means of continuing our programme and entering three DS3 WRCs in 2013."
A further announcement on a second driver is expected soon, but Matton praised Hirvonen, who will now lead the seven-time manufacturers' champion into next season.
Matton said: "Mikko and Jarmo [Mahonen, co-driver] have now been totally incorporated into the team.
"They have shown they have the level of performance and experience needed to take this final step and become the natural leaders of our outfit.
"We will be making another announcement in due course about the second crew that will compete in the absence of Seb and Daniel [Elena, co-driver]."