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FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 - BURIRAM - RACE OF THAILAND - WTCC-31/10/2015 A 01/11/2015 - PHOTO : @World37- Jose Maria Lopez – Citroen Total WTCC” style=”float:right; margin-left: 10px;” /><span style=– By claiming pole position and victory in Race 1, José María López secured his second successive FIA World Touring Car Championship title* with the Citroën Total team.

– The Argentine driver was joined on the podium by his teammates Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua, who also took second and third positions in Race 2.

– The Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs had started the day in style by achieving the unprecedented feat of occupying the top five places in qualifying.

– The Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles may be sewn up, but Citroën is keeping up the suspense: Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb are now separated by just two points and will battle it out for the runner-up spot in Qatar.

With no real hierarchy having emerged after Saturday’s free practice sessions, the drivers turned up for qualifying needing to lay their cards on the table. Drawing on what they had learned the previous day, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC drivers took all five positions in Q3 for the first time! For the sixth time this season, José María López was the quickest man on show, followed by Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller, Ma Qing Hua and Mehdi Bennani in that order.

In late afternoon, the main stand of the Chang International Circuit was packed as the cars lined up on the starting grid. The weather conditions were extreme, with temperatures of 33°C, 60% humidity, and a track temperature of 45°C.

When the lights went out, José María López got off to a perfect start. He reached the first turn in the lead, followed by Sébastien Loeb, with Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller neck-and-neck behind them. Muller, as it turned out, would not make it much farther. After being run into by two other drivers, he was forced to return to the pits with a broken rear-end assembly. Mehdi Bennani took advantage to move up into third.

Once the safety car had been and gone, Ma Qing Hua got the better of the Moroccan driver, and there would be no further changes to the top four before the finish. Despite coming under constant pressure from Sébastien Loeb, José María López clinched his ninth race win of the season. In doing so, he scored the points he needed to secure a second consecutive FIA World Touring Car Championship title.

The celebrations would have to wait, however, as the drivers were immediately back out on track for Race 2. Once again, the start was a chaotic affair. Yvan Muller was forced to pull out at the very first turn after a collision with Ma Qing Hua. Michelisz led at the end of lap 1, with Monteiro, Chilton, Loeb, Ma and López in pursuit.

The race was full of incident, with plenty of overtaking. Sébastien Loeb gradually worked his way up the field into second spot. Picking up the pace, he was right on Monteiro’s tail when the red flag was brought out due to fading light.

Loeb, then, had to settle for second position, with Ma Qing Hua and José María López, who had both pulled off some impressive overtaking manoeuvres of their own, in third and fourth respectively.


Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “After winning the Manufacturers’ World Championship in Shanghai, it is a great joy to see José María López claim another Drivers’ title. It is just reward for a season of consistently excellent performances. It might not be the most significant event of the day, but I will take away especially fond memories of our exploits in qualifying, where we took the top five places. With only five of our cars competing, that is pretty hard to beat! It shows the team spirit we have, which enables us to keep progressing and improving together. Race 2 ended in frustrating fashion, however: had the red flag not come out, Sébastien Loeb might have been able to push for victory.”

José María López: “I am so happy to have won this second World Championship title. Last year, people focused on the fact that mine was the first title for an Argentine driver since Juan Manuel Fangio. But this year, I’m thinking first and foremost about my family, who have sacrificed a lot for me to be able to come and race in Europe. I started my career at the age of 23. After all these seasons, my passion remains undiminished and retaining this World Championship title is a massive achievement. I would also like to thank the Citroën Racing team, who gave me a chance and have given me carte blanche to compete hard against my prestigious teammates. I think the standard has gone up a level this year. That is probably why I’m feeling even more emotional than I did in 2014. I want to savour this moment.”

Sébastien Loeb: “Congratulations to Pechito on another title! Working with him is a pleasure. We have had a great working relationship for nearly two years now. But beating him is just as hard as ever! I ended up with two podium finishes, so I’m happy with my day, but I’m a little frustrated too. Without the red flag, I could probably have gone after Tiago and challenged him for victory. I’m now right up there with Yvan in the championship standings. Anything is possible and I’ll be going to Qatar aiming for the World Championship runner-up spot!”

Yvan Muller: “It’s a good thing qualifying was scheduled for Sunday morning. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done much driving today! What can I say? Obviously, I’m disappointed to have ended up with two DNFs after two early-race collisions. But that is the nature of our sport. In any case, I was already out of the running for the championship. Congratulations to José on his title. He’s had the perfect season.”

Ma Qing Hua: “I’m happy for Pechito; he really deserves his title. He has been terrific this year, but I’m happy to be his teammate because I’m learning a lot from him. It was a tough day, with very small gaps between drivers. We put in a lot of work after qualifying and I was lucky enough to pick up two podium places in the races. That means I’m still sitting in fourth place in the overall standings, but I’ll have to keep pushing hard till the very end!”




Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley extended their title lead in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship by scoring a fourth consecutive victory, at Shanghai today.

With the No.18 Porsche finishing in second place, 26-seconds behind the No.17 car, Porsche clinched the 2015 FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship, sending the Stuttgart mark into ecstasy.  Now holding a 70-point lead in the Manufacturers’ standings over Audi, Porsche cannot be beaten no matter what happens at the final race at Bahrain.

Like Fuji last month, Shanghai produced another sensational WEC event today.  In changeable weather and track conditions, each of the Porsche and Audi entries led the race at stages, thrilling the crowd and TV viewers alike.

Brendon Hartley led for the opening phase of the race but, right from the start, there was excitement as the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Marc Lieb had contact with André Lotterer’s No.7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro and spun onto a kerb. The incident ensured that Lieb had to then begin an awe-inspiring drive back through the field.

The opening three hours was punctuated by extremely challenging conditions for the drivers. An early safety car was followed by several Full Course Yellows to retrieve cars stranded in gravel traps.

With Audi seeming to have a slightly faster package on a fully wet track, a battle royal was played out after the first driver-change pit stops.

At one stage in the third hour, all four cars were covered by just 3.8 seconds as they fought a classic encounter around the Shanghai International Circuit.

After Neel Jani took over the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid, the rapid Swiss claimed the lead just after the halfway mark when he overtook both Audi R18 e-tron quattros.

As the race wore on, so the track slowly dried, handing an advantage to Porsche who were able to extract more laps in a stint from their wet-weather Michelin tyres than Audi. However, in a fascinating game of strategy and risk, Audi switched to full slick tyres earlier than Porsche, bringing them back into contention late in the race.

There was also last hour drama as the recovering No.18 fell back behind the Audis after Romain Dumas spun at turn two. The Frenchman redeemed himself though and posted some remarkable laps to emerge from a final ‘fuel-splash’ pit-stop in second position. Dumas also soaked up late race pressure to ward off a hard-charging Lotterer, who started and finished the race in the No.7 Audi.

The No.8 Audi of Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis and Lucas Di Grassi came home in fourth place once again after some tenacious fights throughout the race.

Toyota Racing took fifth and sixth places after several problems throughout the event.  The No.2 car of Mike Conway, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin headed the No.1 Toyota TS 040 after Kazuki Nakajima lost time with a gravelly spin at turn 16, triggering the third Full Course Yellow period.

The No.12 Rebellion R-One-AER took privateer LMP1 honours in the hands of Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche despite an accident just 15-minutes from the end of the race. Beche hit the wall at turn 10 but was able to get back to the pits where the team performed miracles to return to the track before the chequered flag fell.



“It’s been a very special day from a personal point of view, but my focus remains on the work we have to do to prepare for the race. The circuit is quite challenging and, as we expected, very slippery. In the middle sector there is a lot of movement with the car and it’s very difficult to get the car to stay on the right line. The altitude affects the levels of downforce pretty dramatically, so you end up being fairly light no matter what levels you are running. The conditions are very tricky but they’re the same for everyone, so we will need to adapt. I want to give all the Mexican fans who come to the track this week something to celebrate on Sunday: it was great to see so many of them today and I am feeling optimistic that I will be able to deliver a good result for them.



With three consecutive points finishes, Pastor Maldonado looks to wrestle some more from the grasp of his rivals as Formula 1 returns to Mexico.

How are you looking forward to the Mexican Grand Prix?

I think it’s going to be one of the most special races of the year. There’s certainly a lot of expectation and lots of great fans in Mexico. It’s a Latin American race so I think I’m going to enjoy it a lot. I think we’re all going to get a fantastic welcome and a lot of support. It’s a great country with great people. I love Mexico so I’m looking forward to it.

Do you expect to get a lot of local support?

It’s certainly very close to my home and

the Spanish language is used so I’m looking forward to meeting fans old and new. It’s a big city so there’s a lot of potential for many people tosupport the event and I’m sure they will.

What do you think of the circuit?

I’ve never been there so it will be a new experience for me. It’s always difficult to make a call on a track until you’ve driven it in the car. The layout looks good with some interesting corners with some low speed and also medium and quicker stuff, then a very long main straight which makes up a big percentage of the lap. We’re certainly going to get some high speeds along there! It’ll be interesting to explore our potential.

Did you have a particular approach because of the altitude?

There’s nothing particular other than your general conditioning and training. It’s the highest race of the year so the air will be a bit different but you adapt pretty quickly.

How was your United States Grand Prix?

It was an eventful one. The waiting for the sessions was something we see sometimes and you have to try to get some track time. To be honest the race itself wasn’t the most enjoyable as the car was quite a handful in the conditions we had and you never knew what to expect. I was struggling with the brake balance which made it tough to push hard. We also seemed to grain the wet tyres more than expected so that had to be managed. It was good to get the points, but we didn’t score them in the best way possible because you always want to be pushing hard all the way.

There’s a forecast of rain when we get to Mexico…

The weather will be the same for everyone and we showed we can have a good result when there’s lot of action going on elsewhere. It’s a different track and a new one for everyone so we’ll have to see how our car likes in then deal with the weather as we find it.

What are your thoughts on Jolyon now he’s been announced as your team-mate for 2016?

He’s a nice guy and he’s good to work with so I feel positive about next season. We’ve been working closely together in FP1 sessions this year so that gives me a good idea about working with him. He’s an intelligent guy so I’m sure he’ll do a good job.

Are you a fan of Mexican food?

I love tacos so I’ll be having a few there, but not too many, at least not before the race or qualifying! I like Mexican food, especially when it’s hot and spicy; although maybe not Mexican hot and spicy!

Trick or Treat?

I’m hoping the race will be a treat for us.

Will you celebrate with a tequila if it’s a good result?

Yes, but it has to be a proper good result!



DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 10th, Start Position: 3rd

“The beginning was really fun between both Mercs and both Red Bulls. It was a good four-way battle. To see the Mercs not getting away from us was awesome. I was enjoying that. In the lead we were quite quick for a few laps and it felt like old times. That obviously didn’t last long and once we put the slicks on we just didn’t have the pace. We struggled with the warm up with the tyres and also struggled a lot with braking today. It was so tricky in the dry and then obviously there were the collisions with Hulkenberg and Carlos. It went downhill from then on. Even though we were on slicks it was never really dry out there. The kerbs were slippery and there was still a bit of a puddle through Turns 9 and 10, so it was definitely tricky. Dany spun off just in front of me on to the astroturf and into the wall.  It was a crazy race and I hope the fans enjoyed it as it was quite action packed. Lewis definitely deserves the title. This year he was clearly on top of the rest so congrats and hats off to him for being the 2015 champion.”


DANIIL KVYAT, Finish Position: DNF Start Position: 4th

“The opening laps were mega, it was very enjoyable and it was nice fighting, but then the track dried out. If it was a wet race I felt it could have been a victory today. It’s easy to say that, but there’s no point really, because once it dried out we were an easy target for everyone, which was a bit frustrating. We weren’t able to be as competitive in the dry as in the wet so we’ll have to have a look at that. In the dry, I was driving a bit over my limit when I crashed, I put the wheels on the artificial grass, tried to carry a bit more speed but it didn’t work out and I’m disappointed with myself. Finally, congratulations and well done to Lewis on winning the Drivers’ championship, he’s done a really good job this year.”

 CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “During the first half of the race the performance of our cars looked really encouraging. We were very competitive on the intermediate tyres, which allowed Ricciardo to take the lead and build on it, before we made a double stop, bringing both cars in together. The mechanics worked very well to turn them round with Kvyat in third place. So we looked in good shape at that point, but unfortunately, our pace on the dry tyres was simply not as competitive as the Mercedes and the Ferrari. In particular, we struggled to get the tyres up to temperature at the re-starts, especially after the second Safety Car period. After that, our race unravelled with Daniil’s accident, which caused the final Safety Car. Daniel was involved in a collision with Sainz and that meant he needed a further pit stop, after which he fought back to grab the last available point on the last lap. A disappointing finish after a strong start. Finally, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on defending his World Championship title, the first British driver to do that. He’s a deserving champion.”


MATTHIEU DUBOIS, Renault: “It was a hard work for a single point in the end and far from what we expected after qualifying with both cars on the second row. However, there are some positives to take out of this very wet weekend: firstly all four Renault-powered cars raced reliably from an engine point of view, and we congratulate our sister team for their fourth-placed finish. Secondly we managed to put on a good show and gave Mercedes a run for their money during the early stages of the race. Lastly there is no reason why the performance shown during the first half of the race cannot be repeated to achieve much better next week in Mexico.”


LEWIS Hamilton seized on a late mistake by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to win the United States Grand Prix and secure his third Formula 1 championship.

Hamilton overtook Rosberg with eight laps to go when Rosberg locked his tires and helplessly watched his teammate zoom past.

Hamilton had to beat Rosberg and outscore Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by nine points to wrap up his second consecutive championship with Mercedes. He also won with McLaren in 2008.

The win also gave Hamilton his 21st victory over two seasons and 10th this year. He is the first Formula One driver to win 10 or more races in consecutive seasons.

Vettel, who could have pushed the title chase to next week in Mexico City, finished third after starting 13th.

Hamilton’s third world championship puts his name among the top drivers in the history of the sport, matching title wins with greats like his idol Ayrton Senna, and tying Jackie Stewart for most championships by a British driver. Only Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Vettel have won more.

After the race Hamilton radioed to his crew “This is the greatest moment of my life. To my family, I love you all.”