Defending World Touring Car Champion Jose Maria Lopez feels home advantage at the season-opener is a huge boost to his 2015 campaign and knows getting off to a good start will be vital.

The Argentinian driver claimed a double victory last season at his home race and says it is a fantastic event for him as he gets strong support from the fans at a track he knows off by heart.

Lopez's home round at Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo was the eighth round of the 2014 season but has been moved forward to open the new campaign. The 31-year-old feels this will only benefit his defence of his WTCC crown.

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"It's exciting to be starting my title defence at my home circuit," Lopez said. "Everyone who was at Termas last year saw how passionate the Argentinian people are about motor sport. Everyone will be behind me, at a track I know like the back of my hand.

"It is going to be vital to start the season well, and if there's one place where I can do that, it's here. Every year, the first round brings its fair share of challenges. I haven't changed, but my rivals know all about me now. They know what I'm capable of, and they'll have me in their sights."

Lopez's team principal Yves Matton says the Citroen racing team is targeting a strong defence of its titles, after it claimed the team championship and 1-2-3 in the drivers' standings.

"The five Citro?n C-Elys?e WTCC competing in Argentina has a new front suspension system and an altered aerodynamic setup," Matton explained. "Each of our drivers has prepared very conscientiously, in his own way. They all want to do the best they can and they all want to win.

"Just like last year, the watchwords will be team spirit and respect on the track. We are expecting fierce competition, and our drivers will have to work together to make sure Citro?n comes out on top."

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb returns with Citroen Racing and is joined by Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua as part of the four driver team. The season-opener begins on Friday 6th March, with the lights going out on the first WTCC race of 2015 on Sunday 8th March.