7 December 2014
WTCC success heads Citroen honours for 2014
Jose Maria Lopez heads Citroen trio in the WTCC silverware stakes as marque swaps rallying for touring cars but can't shake winning feeling.
José María López, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb monopolised the FIA WTCC podium at the end of the 2014 campaign, and were duly honoured at the governing body's annual prize-giving gala as Citroen's focus for success switched, temporarily, away from rallying.
While VW dominated on the gravel this season, Citroën turned its legendary attention to detail to touring car competition and duly won the manufacturers' championship at the first attempt.
In his first full year at WTCC level 'Pechito' Lopez was expected to play second fiddle, at least, to multiple series king Muller, but found the right blend of form and fortune to come out on top of the Frenchman. The Argentine met up with his team-mates in Doha to complete the podium while Yves Matton, Citroën Racing team principal, collected the manufacturers' title as reward for winning 17 times in 23 races.
“This evening, alongside leading figures from throughout international motorsport, we can reflect on what an intense year we have just experienced,” Matton commented, “These trophies reward the work of the drivers and everyone in the Citroën Racing team, and taken part in some 25 events in every corner of the planet. In 2015, we'll be defending our FIA WTCC titles with Pechito, Yvan and Seb, and we will continue to remain involved in the WRC.”
While the bulk of Citroen's silverware haul came from the WTCC, its rallying commitment produced eight podium finishes for Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg, which enabled the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team to take second place in the manufacturers' world championship. Meanwhile, Stéphane Lefebvre, Alastair Fisher and Martin Koci made up the podium of the FIA Junior WRC and the WRC-3 championship. The young Frenchman will compete in the WRC-2 next year in a DS 3 R5.
“For their second season with the DS3, Kris and Mads can aim higher still and we will try to help them onto the podium of the drivers' world championship,” Matton continued, “We will also be thinking about the future in continuing to support the development of Stéphane Lefebvre.”
Citroën Racing's competitive record in international motorsport was completed by Petter Solberg, who claimed the FIA World Rallycross Championship in his DS3 Supercar to add to the WRC crown he claimed in 2003, becoming the first driver to win world titles in two different categories.
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