Tag Archives: Yvan Muller

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

MULLER AND HUFF ON EQUAL POINTS AFTER USA… WTCC drivers treated American fans to a breathtaking show on the occasion of the championship’s first visit to Sonoma and the United States.

Both races were eventful. Yvan Muller and Rob Huff shared the victory honours and their results also made the fight for the world championship as hot as ever. The two Chevrolet drivers are now on equal points with only six races to go.
It is easy to predict that the battle will go to the wire at Macau once again.
If Huff was the happiest man in the paddock for having matched Muller’s point tally on top of the Drivers’ Championship, Norbert Michelisz too had reasons to rejoice. The young Hungarian was a pain in the neck for the Chevrolet cars in both races and eventually claimed two podium results and stretched his leadership in the Yokohama Trophy.
Gabriele Tarquini and Alain Menu tried their best and never gave up. However, their hopes of achieving great results vanished when they collided at the start of the first race. The Italian had the consolation of a podium in Race 2, while the Swiss saw his hopes of staying in contention for the title fight seriously jeopardized.
Among those who contributed to entertain the Californian fans a few deserve to be mentioned: Tom Coronel completed two great recoveries from twentieth on the grids to eight and fifth; Alex MacDowall chased the top drivers in both races; Tiago Monteiro finished twice in the points on his last appearance with Sunred before switching to Honda; Tom Boardman scored points in both races; Franz Engstler lulled into the dream of winning Race 2 before Muller brusquely woke him up…
The championship takes a one month break, while cars and parts are being shipped to Japan. Rounds 19 and 20 will take place at Suzuka on October 21.