Nicola Gullino this week replaced François Chatriot as manager of the WRC championship-leading Peugeot team.

Nicola Gullino this week replaced François Chatriot as manager of the WRC championship-leading Peugeot team.

After four events of the 2003 World Rally Championship season, and just two weeks before the Rally of Argentina, current team manager Chatriot has decided to bow out.

Chatriot announced his desire to leave the team in order to give his career a fresh direction, and Peugeot accepted his decision to step down, replacing him with former Italians WRC driver and rally team manager Gullino.

Both Chatriot and Gullino participated in the 1987 San Remo rally. Gullino and driver Stefano Speranza ran a Peugeot 205 GTI in N-group finishing 6th in group and first in Class 3. Chatriot and his co-driver, Michel Périn finished 11th in the WRC A-group and fourth in Class 7.

Over the past ten years, Gullino has competed in one-off rally competitions but his career has been focused with the Italian-based company, Grifone, that ran Valentino Rossi's Peugeot 206 in the Rally Great Britain in 2002.

Gullino oversaw the WRC debut of the MotoGP rider Rossi last year and has had an active role with Peugeot Sport. "Nicola Gullino has already fulfilled the same function with rigour and skill with the Italian racing team, Grifone," said Peugeot Sport spokesman.

The 39 year-old takes over a team that is currently leading both the manufacturer and driver standings. Peugeot holds a five-point lead over Citroën and Richard Burns leads his team-mate and the current WRC champion Marcus Gronholm by six points.

Original article from Car