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Citroën celebrates historic weekend

Citroën is celebrating being part of history this weekend, following Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua’s victory in the second World Touring Car Championship race at the Moscow Raceway.

Ma’s victory is the first for a Chinese driver in an FIA world championship, and was taken on his début weekend in the series.

Team Principal Yves Matton admitted after the race that one of his targets, for all four Citroën drivers to win a race, had now been met with Ma’s victory at the half-way stage in the season.

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“I think the races at the Moscow Raceway were particularly captivating for the crowd, with plenty of hard- and fairly-fought battles,” said Matton. “Before the season started, I set the team the target of all our drivers winning a race. We have now met that challenge, with Ma Qing Hua adding his name to the list of winners.

“The first win by a Chinese driver in an FIA World Championship race is an historic moment, which is likely to boost China’s interest in motorsport in general and in WTCC in particular. This has been a really positive weekend for us, with all four of our drivers producing solid performances, and all of them making it onto the podium.”

Ma thanked his team for helping him to be able to deliver strong results so quickly. The 26-year-old qualified in ninth on Saturday, before finishing sixth in race one and first in race two, elevating him to 12th in the championship.

“First of all, I’d like to thank every member of the team, who did everything they could to help me make quick progress,” said Ma. “It wasn’t easy arriving in the middle of the championship, and we’ve worked really hard to make sure I was up to the task.

“The races were pretty lively. I had to fight hard to move up the field, particularly to get past Norbert Michelisz. I hope that I can continue in the same vein in the future,” concluded the Chinese driver.

Championship leader José-María López had a mixed weekend, first securing his fourth win of the season in race one before a mechanical problem prevented him getting away in race two.

“Even after starting from pole position, I didn’t feel comfortable, as I knew that the Civics would make a strong start,” said López of his race one win. “Once again, I didn’t get away brilliantly, but I managed to cling on to the lead. I then attacked hard to pull away. It’s always satisfying to win a race like that, when you are rewarded for a good performance.

“I wasn’t quite as successful in race 2, but that happens. I’ll leave Moscow with the same lead in the championship standings, so it’s been a positive weekend for me.”

The results mean López still holds a 41 point lead over Muller – the same as the gap before the races in Russia. Sébastien Loeb is third in the championship a further 7 points behind.

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