Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke will remain in the Citroen family after renewing his agreement with the French firm for a further three years.
Meeke had been strongly linked to Toyota’s World Rally Championship re-entry in 2017 in recent months.
Citroen has previously said that it will not field a factory team next season, preferring to return with a full-blown assault when the sweeping new regulations come into effect the following year.
While Citroen has not disclosed how it will play its non-factory effort in 2016, Stephane Lefebvre is favoured to join him for a limited program.
Meeke’s main role however will be to continue to develop the 2017 machine.
After claiming his maiden WRC win in Argentina this year, Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle have shown a propensity to push the Volkswagen juggernaut head by Sebastien Ogier.
Meeke, who has only competed in 34 WRC events, admitted he had other opportunities if the Citroen deal did not eventuate.
“Various options were available to me to pursue my career, but I chose to stay with Citroën Racing to reap the rewards of the work done over the last two years or more,” Meeke said.
“It’s also a way of thanking the team for the faith they have shown in me. We now know each other very well and this understanding will be essential in developing the new car successfully.
“I’m also very excited about the new FIA regulations, which look set to deliver more powerful and more spectacular cars.”
Citroen boss Yves Matton affirmed that Meeke was the primary choice going into the new evolution of the WRC.
“Kris was undoubtedly the best choice and we are delighted that he has decided to stay with us,” Matton said.
“We have a lot of shared history, with two seasons in the JWRC in the 2000s and then the last couple of years with the DS 3 WRC.
“In 2016, the test program will be the priority for Kris from April, when initial testing of the new car is set to begin.
“He will nonetheless keep his hand in as regards racing by taking part in several rounds of the World Championship.
“Initial details of this private program will be revealed shortly.”