Tag Archives: Citroen C-Elysée WTCC

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MULLER AND LÓPEZ PULL THEIR WEIGHT!

FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - HUNGARORING– The Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs pulled off another one-two today, with José-María López finishing second to Yvan Muller in the first race at the Hungaroring.
– On a circuit where overtaking opportunities are hard to come by, the Citroën drivers were not able to work their way into the podium places in race 2.
– José-María López and Citroën Total continue to lead the World Championship standings. The Argentine driver keeps his lead in the Drivers’ standings, while Yvan Muller has now moved ahead of Sébastien Loeb.

After dry conditions for qualifying, there was some uncertainty as to the weather conditions that could be expected for the two races scheduled for early this afternoon. There was torrential rain overnight, but it stopped a few hours before the start.

When the red lights went out, Yvan Muller and José-María López capitalised on their grid positions to move out in front. Sébastien Loeb, however, made a mess of his start and found himself boxed in at the first corner. The driver of Citroën C-Elysée WTCC n°9 finished the first lap in seventh place, behind Muller, López, Monteiro, Tarquini, Bennani and Michelisz.

Yvan Muller managed to open up a lead, but Pechito López kept up the pressure on his teammate. Meanwhile, Sébastien Loeb was trying to find a way past Norbert Michelisz. Despite their efforts, the Hungaroring lived up to its reputation, and there was no more overtaking to be seen. So Yvan Muller claimed his second race win of the season, with José-María López and Tiago Monteiro joining him on the podium.
After a short break, the cars returned to the track for a rematch. Due to the reverse grid system, Loeb, López and Muller started from 8th, 9th and 10th.

Gianni Morbidelli led at the first corner, from Tiago Monteiro, Hugo Valente (who had started from pole) and Tom Coronel. Showing inspired form from the off, Yvan Muller managed to slip in between his teammates and grab fifth position from José-María López. Once again, Sébastien Loeb failed to take the best option, ending lap 1 in ninth place.

Very quickly, Morbidelli, Monteiro and Valente pulled away from the chasing pack, while Muller and López could not find a way past Coronel. That was how things finished, meaning the Citroën drivers missed out on a podium place.

This weekend’s results see José-María López hold his lead in the World Championship, while Yvan Muller has moved past Sébastien Loeb into second spot. In the Team standings, Citroën Total has extended its lead to 99 points

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Yves Matton: “Considering the nature of the circuit and the compensation ballast introduced before the meeting, this has been a very positive weekend for us. We can be proud of winning the top three spots in qualifying and finishing first and second in race 1. We knew that it would be almost impossible to get back on the podium at the end of race 2. The starts were the only opportunities we had to move up the field. After that, there was no overtaking in either race. The other thing this meeting has taught us is that the teams are now demonstrating very similar levels of performance. That’s a good sign for the rest of the season.”

Yvan Muller: “We knew that the start would be crucial on this circuit. In race 1, I attacked and managed to open up a bit of a lead on José. When he came back at me, I was able to show him that I could respond in kind. I was able to look after my tyres in the last few laps and notch up another win. I’ve always won the first race here and it’s nice to continue that run! I’m also satisfied with fifth place in race 2. It’s not just the podium finishes that help you win a championship.”

José-María López: “Yvan was just better in every department this weekend. But after three meetings I’m still leading the championship and that’s better than I had hoped for before the season began! Even though it’s almost impossible to overtake here, I think the public saw some interesting races, and that’s good for the championship as a whole.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I had two difficult starts: each time I chose the worst option! In race 1, when I saw that my competitors were all keeping tight to the inside, I tried to get round on the outside, but I ended up getting boxed in. So as not to suffer the same fate twice, I positioned myself on the inside in race 2, but I still got overtaken on the other side. I don’t know if you can put it down to a lack of experience or success, but my starts meant I was out of the running from the off. I hope to put things right next week in Slovakia!”

RESULTS

RACE 1
1. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 14 laps
2. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +1’’282
3. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC) +8’’961
4. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) +13’’980
5. Mehdi Bennani (Honda Civic WTCC) +14’’747
6. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +16’’672
7. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +17’’475
8. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +22’’863
9. Gianni Morbidelli (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +27’’891
10. Hugo Valente (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +36’’287
Fastest lap: Yvan Muller (1’50’’119)

RACE 2
1. Gianni Morbidelli (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) 14 laps
2. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC) +0’’350
3. Hugo Valente (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +1’’206
4. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +5’’104
5. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +5’’435
6. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +5’’605
7. Tom Chilton (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +6’’306
8. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) +7’’828
9. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +8’’308
10. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +8’’842
Fastest lap: Tiago Monteiro (1’51’’088)

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: DRIVER STANDINGS
1. José-María López: 115 points
2. Yvan Muller: 105 pts
3. Sébastien Loeb: 84 pts
4. Tiago Monteiro: 65 pts
5. Gabriele Tarquini: 48 pts

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: MANUFACTURER STANDINGS
1. Citroën Total: 271 points
2. Honda: 172 pts
3. Lada: 112 pts

WTCC AT MARRAKECH

075_LOEB

PRACTICE 2 – MULLER OUSTS LÓPEZ

Citroën cars continued to set the pace at Marrakech’s street circuit.

After Yvan Muller topped yesterday’s testing and Sébastien Loeb this morning’s practice one, it looked it was Jose María López’s turn to be fastest in the second practice.
Midway through the session, the Argentine missed the braking point at T10, however he was able to avoid contact with the wall and in the following lap clocked a provisional fastest lap of 1:43.500.
But Muller came back. After spoiling a first try due to cutting a chicane, the reigning champion was eventually able to oust López from the top, stopping the clock at 1:43.437. Loeb was classified third with a best lap of 1:44.572.
A trio of Chevrolet cars ranked behind the Citroën trio: Tom Chilton (1:44.975) in fourth, Dušan Borković (1:45.264) in fifth and Hugo Valente (1:45.528) in sixth. They were followed by Rob Huff’s LADA (1:45.695) and Mehdi Bennani’s Honda (1:46.154). Franz Engstler continued to reign in the TC2T class ahead of Petr Fulín.
The session was red-flagged once after eight minutes because of an incident between Gabriele Tarquini and Gianni Morbidelli at T5. Tarquini’s Honda was trying to rejoin after missing the braking point and it was t-boned by Morbidelli’s Chevrolet. Both Italian drivers were sidelined for the rest of the time.
Once again James Thompson was forced to skip most of the session due to a technical issue, while Tom Coronel was only able to join in the final minutes after the ROAL Motorsport crew finished repairs following his crash in the first practice.

WTCC

WTCC Citroen 2013

MA QING HUA COMPLETES CITROËN RACING’S WTCC LINEUP—

MQH_Portrait

  • 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.”

WTCC

FIA WTCC Austria, Salzburg 19-20 May 2012

YVAN MULLER JOINS CITROËN RACING FOR WTCC 2014

_NZS2453Citroën Racing has recruited Yvan Muller as part of its World Touring Car Championship team. The French driver, a three-time world champion, will drive one of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC cars that will be used in the competition from 2014.

Yvan Muller is a highly-respected figure in the world of WTCC, having won the title three times (in 2008, 2010 and 2011) and broken every record going, from race wins, to points scored, to number of pole positions and number of laps spent in the lead. The 2013 season has confirmed his supremacy and he could clinch his fourth championship crown at the upcoming Sonoma meeting (7-8 September).

A consistently excellent performer and painstaking in his car development work, Yvan, a native of France’s Alsace region, is an ideal choice for Citroën Racing’s 2014 team. “Throughout its history, be it in cross-country rallies or WRC, Citroën Racing has always sought to recruit the best drivers,” notes Yves Matton, Managing Director of Citroën Racing. “We have set ambitious goals for our new challenge in WTCC, and the arrival of a driver as experienced as Yvan will help us to make rapid progress. He has shown this season that he is at the peak of his powers and that his thirst for wins has never been greater. He will also be an excellent point of reference for Sébastien Loeb. The two men are from the same region and have known each other for a long time. Their mutual respect will create a natural cohesion within the team.”

Having worked with five manufacturers during his touring car career, Yvan Muller is feeling highly motivated by this new challenge: “It will be a real honour to represent Citroën Racing from 2014. As a rally fan, I have always followed Citroën and Seb’s victorious seasons in WRC with interest. It’s fantastic that a brand with such a terrific record is getting involved in a category where it still has everything to learn. This isn’t the first time I have joined a team that doesn’t have a lot of experience in the discipline it is racing in. It’s nice to be able to go beyond my role as a driver by offering the benefit of my knowledge and making an active contribution to building a successful team.”

Yvan Muller’s contract commits him to the team for the next two seasons. After driving the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC for the first time at the Val de Vienne circuit, he will take part in the testing programme that will take place in the lead-up to the 2014 World Championship.

YVAN MULLER: “A GENERATION OF LIGHTER, MORE POWERFUL, MORE EFFICIENT CARS”

What were your first impressions of Citroën Racing?
“First of all, I found them very professional, but that wasn’t surprising given the record of the rally team. Over the course of my career, I have raced for Italian, German, Spanish and British teams, and it has been a long time since I’ve worked with French people. They have a different way of thinking and working (I’m not saying it’s better or worse than any other way!) and I need to learn Citroën Racing’s working methods. I also need to get used to speaking my mother tongue again, as I’ve realised that I sometimes have trouble finding the right technical terms in French! It’s all very recent, but I already feel at ease with Citroën.”

You have an impressive record in WTCC. What are the secrets of your success in this category?
“It’s simple: you have to perform well and finish every race with as many points as possible! That said, the discipline is a lot more complicated than it seems. The main difficulty stems from the two-race meeting format. With the reverse-grid system, the driver who is on pole for the first race starts from tenth position in the second race. When you are back in the chasing pack, you need to know how to avoid the traps set by the other drivers if you are to get back to the front. That’s probably why the experienced drivers tend to monopolise the top places.”

The skill of the driver also seems to be very important…
“Unlike most track cars, the WTCCs are front-wheel drives. That means that the front tyres wear down quickly, as they are used both for steering and for drive force. The driver has to adapt accordingly to manage the wear of his tyres throughout the race. I think that the 2014 regulations will be more lenient in this regard, though.”

You have now driven the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. What was it like to drive?
“Compared to what I’ve experienced in recent seasons, the car is lighter, more powerful and more efficient in terms of aerodynamics. It also has wider tyres and bigger brakes. In short, everything is better and this new generation will be a lot faster than the current car. It’s still a touring car, with life made a little bit easier for the driver. My first impressions are that the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC is a good base to work from and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the development sessions.”

Do you remember when you first met Sébastien Loeb?
“Yes, it was in the late nineties, at an Andros Trophy race in the Vosges. We belonged to the same club and our President came to introduce me to the ‘rising star’. I followed his rise and today I can only admire what he has done in his career. He has been world champion nine times! That is some achievement. My own stats are good, but nowhere near as good as what Seb has achieved.”

It is rare to have two drivers with such well-stocked trophy cabinets in the same team. How do you see this partnership working?
“I’m sure it will work very well. We are big boys with little left to prove and we know what working for a manufacturer is all about. You have to think about the brand above all else, and that’s what I’ve always done. Obviously, I would prefer to end up on top of the podium, but the main goal is for the team to win. Solidarity between teammates is one of the keys to success.”

YVAN MULLER IN BRIEF

− Born 16/08/1969 in Altkirch (France)
− Racing début: 1979 (karting)
− Website: www.yvanmuller.com

Main titles:
− 1986 : European Karting Champion
− 1992 : UK F2 Champion (F3000)
− 1995 : French Super Touring Car Champion (BMW)
− 1995-2006 : 10 consecutive Andros Trophy titles
− 2003 : UK BTCC Champion (Vauxhall)
− 2008 : World Touring Car Champion (Seat)
− 2010 : World Touring Car Champion (Chevrolet)
− 2011 : World Touring Car Champion (Chevrolet)

WTCC

WTCC Citroen 2013

CITROËN C-ELYSÉE WTCC TAKES ON THE WORLD’S CIRCUITS – 

A month after confirming that it would be entering the World Touring Car Championship in 2014, Citroën can now reveal the model that will be driven on the circuits by Sébastien Loeb. The Citroën C-Elysée WTCC will be the very first vehicle to be designed in accordance with the new regulations, currently being prepared by the FIA for the category next year.

On 26 September of last year, at the opening of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Frédéric Banzet, Yves Matton and Sébastien Loeb announced that Citroën was considering taking part in the World Touring Car Championship. A few minutes earlier, the C-Elysée had just been unveiled for the first time to the world’s media. Ten months on, these two events come together again with the release of the first pictures of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC!

Benefitting from the best of the Brand’s expertise in terms of style, development and quality, the Citroën C-Elysée is a C-segment saloon aimed principally at high-growth, international markets such as those in Latin America, the Mediterranean region, China and Russia. Widely acclaimed by customers, the Citroën C-Elysée is already 30% ahead of its initial sales target, with 30,000 orders placed.

“Choosing the C-Elysée as the basis for our WTCC car reflects very clearly our determination to use racing as an active means of supporting our commercial development,” emphasized Frédéric Banzet, CEO of the Citroën Brand. “With rounds in Latin America, Morocco, China and Russia, the WTCC race calendar is genuinely global, and it will be a real advantage to run a C-Elysée, a key driver of our growth, in front of large crowds of enthusiastic motorsport fans.”

“From a strictly technical perspective, the choice of a three-box saloon body was ideal in terms of aerodynamics. C-Elysée was therefore the perfect choice,” added Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, Citroën Racing’s Technical Director. “Apart from this aspect, we were able to install the various components fairly easily. Insofar as this is our first track racing car, we constantly had to ask ourselves questions about the relevance of our choices, but that’s what makes this a particularly exciting challenge.”

Firmly anchored to the tarmac on its 18-inch wheels, the C-Elysée WTCC is quite simply formidable. Featuring an integrated aerodynamic splitter, the front bumper accentuates the radiator grille with its prominent double chevron. The widened front and rear wings lend the car’s bodywork a decidedly racing feel. At the rear, the stylish rear wing will ensure that the car hugs the track.

Under the bonnet, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC is powered by the same 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged engine as the DS3 WRC. With a wider booster flange, power output is now close to 380bhp. The car comes with a front-wheel drive transmission, controlled by a six-speed sequential gearbox.

After making its first track outing a few days ago, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC has now begun a programme of development tests. The car will make its first public appearance at the Frankfort International Motor Show (12-22 September).