Among Pinon's achievements were the design and engineering of the Citroën Xsara, C4, and DS3 rally machines which Sébastien Loeb drove to consecutive titles in the World Rally Championship. He also oversaw the Citroën C-Elysée that has dominated the World Touring Car Championship for the past two seasons. In his new capacity, Pinon will be directing the mechanical setup of the DSV-01 electric racer campaigned by DS Virgin Racing in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Prior to signing with PSA Peugeot Citroën's premium marque, the Virgin Racing team scored two race wins with Sam Bird during the inaugural championship. Now just two races into this season, Bird has already scored his first podium finish for the team in Putrajaya, Malaysia, earlier this month. For next season, participating automakers will be able to develop the electric motor, gearbox, inverter, and rear suspension on the otherwise controlled chassis. Pinon's experience in racing ought to give the team a qualitative edge in next year's championship.
Enrolled in the FIA Formula E Championship in partnership with Virgin Racing, DS Automobiles created its motorsport division, DS Performance, in August 2015.
Xavier Mestelan Pinon has been appointed Head of DS Performance, starting from 1 January 2016.
In June 2015, DS Automobiles announced its engagement in the FIA Formula E Championship, whose races are run by all-electric single-seater cars at centrally located racetracks in major cities around the world.
DS Automobiles and Virgin Racing joined forces to form the DS Virgin Racing team.
To harness its technological expertise in research and development in Formula E, DS Automobiles set up a motorsport division, named DS Performance. DS Performance engineers have contributed to the development of the drivetrain of the DSV-01, the DS Virgin Racing team's car. They also designed the car's cooling system, rear suspension and transmission.
Xavier Mestelan Pinon has been appointed head of DS Performance as of 1 January 2016.
Xavier Mestelan Pinon, a graduate of the Estaca engineering school, joined Citroën Sport in 1995 with initial duties in customer-competition operations. In 2000 he took charge of operations for Bruno Thiry's Xsara Kit-Car in the European championship and Sébastien Loeb's car in the Var Rally. It proved a winning combination.
His career ties in closely with the successful performance of the Citroën World Rally Team: he was put in charge of WRC programme operations in 2001, then appointed chassis manager in 2003. He became Head of the Technical Department in March 2005, then deputy director of Citroën Racing in January 2012.
DS Performance is based at Versailles Satory, near Paris, and is part of the PSA Motorsports Centre of Excellence.