2024 French Championship: Christophe Lecureux: “CHL has already had cars from two different manufacturers”

Present at Monte-Carlo where his CHL Sport Auto team took care of several crews, Christophe Lecureux gave some details concerning the coming season, in WRC2 and in France.

Published on 31/01/2024 à 15:42

Loïc ROCCI

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2024 French Championship: Christophe Lecureux: “CHL has already had cars from two different manufacturers”

CHL Sport Auto and its boss Christophe Lecureux are preparing for a busy 2024 season (Photo: Bastien Roux/DPPI)

For several years, you fielded Citroëns in the French Championship, but it seems that with your association with Hyundai will this no longer be the case?

Yes, we will continue with Citroën. 

In France or worldwide?

Both.

Which driver will you race with in France?

I can't say anything yet.

It's still CHL who will be alongside Emil Lindholm's Hyundai i20 during the rally from Sweden (February 15-18)?

You shouldn't mix things up. I like it when it's Cartesian. I can indeed confirm that there is a partnership between Emil and CHL. We will compete in 5 WRC2 events.

Is there a plan to also run Teemu Suninen? At the same time or alternating with Lindholm?

This will be announced soon.

Where will Lindholm be present after Sweden?

I'd rather not talk about it.

With only 5 rallies, will it be difficult for him to aim for the title?

As it is not an official program, it is done over 5 rounds.

The logic is complicated to understand. Why do these rallies if not to play WRC2?

It may be difficult... Let's wait and see what will happen in 2025. It may be different. Teemu's program is not finalized. 

In France, do you plan to maintain the same kind of commitment as in recent years?

For me, it is linked with the history of CHL. She will continue. I don't see what's going to stop us. It is not because there are indeed some nauseating thoughts that have passed through there, but today the investment that we have made in the French championship for ten years will always be the same.

Can you say if it will be with Citroëns or Hyundais?

There will be both cars. In France, we have already had cars from two different manufacturers. For me, things are clear. I have no animosity or prerogative. I just have an SME to run.

If both vehicles are possible, is Yoann Bonato likely to still race under your colors?

Maybe he still has a chance. There is indeed a framework to be found.

Would Citroën agree to let you field C3s and i20s?

When you own your cars, you can do whatever you want. I'm. Afterwards, there are ethics that we can respect or not.

What is your approach to WRC2? Is it to open up a new market for you?

We have already been in WRC in the past. We have done great things with Citroën, Yoann Bonato and others. We were at the origin of the C3 in the world at the 2018 Tour de Corse. If we came to look for CHL, it's because we take things seriously. We have a team that works well, employees who are stable. We are gradually gaining strength. I'm happy for the team. It's a recognition. We don't do a lot of things, but when we do them, we do them well. This new challenge is a great satisfaction for all the staff. It's an increase in skill that allows us to go to a higher level... but we will not abandon the French championship.

Was it Hyundai who approached you?

No. There are two elements. There is actually a France program which is a Hyundai program and a global program which is a private program. You will quickly see why.

Will there be support from Hyundai?

In the same way that we had technical representatives from Citroën or Michelin, we will continue with an identical mode of operation. It is mandatory.

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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