The renowned endurance records set by the Rosalie vehicles at the Linas-Montlhéry speed ring were organised by lubricants manufacturer Huiles Yacco. Eight vehicles in all took to the track between October 1931 and July 1935, claiming no fewer than 358 international records and 192 world records.
The vehicles, converted into single-seaters, were all C6 or 15CV models with a six-cylinder engine, apart from Petite Rosalie (8CV equipped with a four-cylinder engine), Rosalie VII (7CV Traction Avant) and Rosalie IX, an 11CV Traction Avant Légère, which completed a 100,000 km endurance event between March and May 1936.
Two other Citroën vehicles subsequently took to the track at the speed ring: the Spéciale Citroën equipped with the new diesel engine used by commercial vehicles in 1937, and the Barbot Spéciale, based on a 2CVA, in 1953.
Citroën made its official rally debut with the DS, using its extraordinary hydropneumatic suspension to huge success. The DS was followed by the SM, and then the CX, which made a name for itself in the Paris-Dakar rally at the end of the 1970s. Between 1990 and 1997, Citroën reigned supreme over the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallying, claiming five Manufacturers’ titles with the ZX Rallye Raid.
Looking for new challenges, Citroën turned to conventional rallying in 1998 with the Xsara Kit-car, and picked up its first world titles in this field.
In 2001, Citroën set its sights on the WRC World Rally Championship, aiming for the top with Sébastien Loeb. In 2009, despite an interruption in 2006, Citroën had a total of five Manufacturers titles.
After a season of life-sized tests in the French Championship, Citroën made its WRC debut in 2001. Towards the end of the season, a promising young driver made his debut in the San Remo Rally. Relaxed and completely unfazed, Sébastien Loeb claimed second place on the podium.
History was on the move and nothing could stop it. Indissociable partners, Citroën and Loeb/Elena climbed the steps to the top. In 2003, Citroën claimed the first of its huit world crowns. The following year, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena won the first in a series of nine consecutive titles. Since then, the C4 WRC and the DS3 WRC has replaced the Xsara WRC with the same success.