MA QING HUA COMPLETES CITROËN RACING’S WTCC LINEUP—
- Citroën Racing is delighted to welcome driver Ma Qing Hua to its team for the World Touring Car Championship.
- At the age of 26, Ma Qing Hua has solid experience in single-seater racing, right up to Formula 1 level. He also won the China Touring Car Championship (1600cc class) in 2011.
- Ma Qing Hua’s programme for 2014 includes the Moscow, Spa-Francorchamps, Shanghai and Macao meetings. He will also take part in a fifth race, which has yet to be determined.
Ma Qinq Hua has been recruited to join Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and José-María López in Citroën Racing’s WTCC team. Like Citroën itself, which is stepping up its international expansion, the team representing the brand will have a very international flavour, with drivers from three different continents.
“In 2013, China became our number-one market in terms of vehicles manufactured,” confirms Arnaud de Lamothe, Citroën’s Director of Communications, Marketing and Sport. “We achieved 26% growth in 2013, outperforming the market as a whole, which grew by 19%.” Orders for the C-Elysée, which is produced at our Wuhan plant, have already exceeded our objectives. For 2014, our ambition is to sell more than 100,000 units of this model on the Chinese market. For all these reasons, and with the support of the joint venture Dongfeng Citroën, we wanted to have a Chinese driver competing in one of our C-Elysée WTCCs.”
To ensure that this role went to an excellent driver, Citroën Racing spent several months testing a number of potential candidates, before selecting Ma Qing Hua for his strong performances. A native of Shanghai, the 26-year-old driver has amassed impressive single-seater experience, first in Asia and then in Europe. Having driven for the HRT and Caterham teams, he made it to the fringes of Formula 1, driving in free practice at five Grand Prix.
Ma Qing Hua has also taken part in the China Touring Car Championship. After an incomplete programme in 2010, he won the CTCC 1600cc class the following season. This technical experience enabled him to quickly prove his potential in the C-Elysée WTCC.
“We chose Ma Qing Hua not just for his nationality, but also for his performances,” explains Yves Matton, Managing Director of Citroën Racing. “He made a positive impression on us during various tests in the C-Elysée WTCC. We won’t be able to enter four cars in every round of the championship in this first season, but we’ve managed to put together a coherent programme. Ma will compete in the last two European rounds – Moscow and Spa-Francorchamps – before lining up for his two home meetings, in Shanghai and Macao. The fifth race in his programme will be determined at a later date.”
It is a great honour to have been chosen by Citroën Racing for this ambitious programme,” says Ma Qing Hua. “I really enjoyed working with the team during the test sessions I was invited to take part in. I am really excited about the opportunity to race for a manufacturer with such a winning record and I will do my best to help Citroen to keep winning! It would, of course, be particularly special for me to have a good result in Macau and my hometown of Shanghai. But for now, I’m just looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the C-Elysée WTCC.”