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WTCC Race of Thailand: Lopez to avoid scraps in second WTCC title bid

Jose Maria Lopez says he only has eyes on securing a second FIA World Touring Car Championship title in Thailand regardless of how he achieves it.
Jose Maria Lopez says he only has eyes on securing a second FIA World Touring Car Championship title in Thailand regardless of how he achieves it.

The reigning WTCC champion leads Citroen team-mate Yvan Muller by 75 points with two rounds and four races remaining in 2015.

The Frenchman is the sole driver who can take the title off Lopez but it will be a tough order because even if Muller grabs a double victory in Thailand, the Argentinean driver needs to collect 25 points over the two races at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram and the title is his.

In simpler terms, if Lopez finishes in front of Muller in race one in Thailand the WTCC drivers' title will be secured with three races to spare and Lopez says he'll be battling himself as well as Muller.

“Obviously, I'm really looking forward to this meeting,” López said. “I have prepared well and I know how many points I need to score to become World Champion. Of course, whenever I get into my Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, I'm aiming for the best possible result.

“But this weekend, my sole objective will be to secure the title. It would be great to do it with a win, but I'll be trying to stay out of the in-race battles to make sure I get the points I still need. I'll be battling with myself rather than against my competitors.”

Reflecting on how his approach has changed from when he claimed his maiden WTCC in 2014, Lopez feels he is the one all of his rivals aim to beat above anyone else.

“People know what I'm capable of now, so I've become the man to beat, and that has made my job harder,” Lopez explained. “My rivals – not least my teammates – are better prepared than ever. The standard of the competition has gone up again. The statistics might not show it, but I've found this season even harder than last year. Winning a second title would make me even happier than I already am.”


Tagged as: Citroën , Lopez

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