CITROËN RACING TEAM RETURN TO MARRAKECH
Over a month after the opening round in Argentina, the FIA World Touring Car Championship continues in Morocco this weekend.
– The Moulay El Hassan street circuit, which takes in some of the avenues of the outskirts of Marrakech, poses a unique challenge for drivers.
– José María López and Sébastien Loeb – currently separated by 5 points at the head of the overall standings – were the victorious drivers here one year ago.
– Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua – who performed well in Argentina and will not want to let their teammates slip out of reach – will also be aiming for glory!
Marrakech was the place where Citroën Racing’s FIA WTCC adventure began one year ago. The team made an impact from the start, with the three Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs securing a magnificent 1-2-3 in the first race. José María López triumphed, with Sébastien Loeb second, and Yvan Muller third. In race 2, we witnessed a seasoned rally driver morph into a track star, as Loeb claimed his first win in the discipline, just a few lengths ahead of López!
In a strange quirk of history, the results of the first meeting of 2015 were almost identical. At Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), the Citroën Total WTCC team once again kicked off its season with a 1-2-3. In front of an adoring home crowd, Pechito López took top spot, with Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb joining him on the podium. Sébastien Loeb then put in a particularly inspired performance in race 2, snaking his way through the pack to secure a well-earned victory ahead of the local idol!
“It’s a win I’ll remember for a long time and it shows that the work I’ve been doing for nearly two years now is beginning to pay off,” said Seb. “Having started from eighth on the reverse grid, I found myself in the lead after taking the right options in the early laps. It was a hard race because it was very hot in the car. Pechito wasn’t far behind, so I had to attack to stop him from coming back at me.”
José María López and Sébastien Loeb are almost neck and neck at the top of the World Drivers’ Championship, with 48 points for the Argentine and 43 for the Frenchman. Yvan Muller is lying in fourth place, twenty points off the lead, due to his failure to score in race 2. In Marrakech, the four-time World Champion will have to overcome a five-place penalty on the grid in race 1.
Ma Qing Hua also made a strong start to the season, qualifying for Q3 and getting himself into a position to win race 2 before slipping on some spilt oil that had not been spotted. Currently sixth in the World Championship standings with 16 points, the Chinese driver has just one ambition: to find his way onto the podium, and preferably the highest step