Citroen Racing's Xavier Mestelan says he expects his team will face stronger competition from its World Touring Car Championship rivals in 2015 after dominating much of the 2014 season.

After many years of success in the World Rally Championship, Citroen chose the WTCC for its maiden foray into circuit racing in 2014.

Despite its inexperience of the discipline, Citroen's intentional decision to begin development for the new TC1 regulations months before its rivals could paid off handsomely when it began the year with a significant performance advantage.

Signing four-time champion Yvan Muller, World Rally legend Sebastien Loeb and promising rookie Jose Maria Lopez - as well as occasional entrant Ma Qing Hua -, Citroen's C-Elysee would establish itself as the car to beat straight away, winning 14 of the first 15 races.

In the end, Citroen would accumulate 17 wins from 24 races, with all four drivers tasting victory at some stage, while Lopez - who scored his tenth win in Macau - led Muller and Loeb in the overall standings.

"Congratulations to Jos? Mar?a L?pez, who has shown all his qualities in Macau. He didn't make the slightest mistake: pole position, a race win, and the fastest lap. It was a performance that sums up his season! It was also the 17th victory by a Citro?n C-Elys?e WTCC this year, an incredible achievement in our first season in the competition.

"There are lots of facts and statistics that emerge at the end of a season like this. The fact that all our drivers - Jos? Mar?a L?pez, S?bastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua - have won a race is something we can be extremely proud of, as is the reliability of the car."

Looking forward, Citroen announced an unchanged driver line-up for the 2015 season - as we as confirm it will supply two 2014-specification cars to Sebastien Loeb Racing - over the weekend, but having come up against stiffer competition from Honda, Chevrolet and LADA in the closing stages of the year, Mestelan expects a tough fight ahead.

"We are expecting even fiercer competition in 2015, so we'll be getting down to work to ensure that we have the best possible chance of defending our titles."



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