Citroën Motorsport Director Julien Montarnal says that the marque’s results in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) have been “way beyond our wildest dreams” after the French company claimed the manufacturer’s title in China on Sunday.
A result that had long looked on the cards was finally confirmed after the first race on Sunday, in which Citroën also secured its first-ever 1-2-3-4 finish, thanks to José María López, Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb.
In only their first year in the WTCC Citroën have won everything possible, with either of its three drivers López, Muller or Loeb now guaranteed the drivers’ title. Montarnal paid tribute to the team which helped to deliver Citroën’s first-ever circuit racing world title.
“Citroën is extremely proud of these victories and this world title,” said Montarnal. “The professionalism, energy and passion of Citroën Racing have enabled us to obtain results that have gone way beyond our wildest dreams. We gave ourselves a year to learn about the category and, in the end, it has taken us a year to win! I would like to thank the entire team, all those who have helped put the Citroën brand in the place it deserves: first.”
Montarnal also stressed the importance of the Chinese market to the company, which also underlines the reasons for having Ma Qing Hua in the team.
“Winning the title in Shanghai in front of all these fans, at such an extremely popular event, has been the perfect scenario. China is our biggest market, as one in every four Citroën cars is sold here. All our guests, dealers and customers alike, have been able to appreciate Citroën’s technological expertise.”
Citroën Racing Team Principal Yves Matton put the success down to the incredible level of preparation the team put in, which saw it complete more testing than any of its rivals more than a year in advance of the start of the 2014 season.
“The season isn’t quite over yet, but I think we can safely say it has been a great year,” admitted Matton. “A year that began, in fact, eighteen months ago, when we started working on this project. Whether it was in the technical centre in Versailles or on the ground, the entire team spent a lot energy making sure we were ready for the start of the championship.
“With a well-deigned car and a set of fantastic drivers, we have obtained some truly exceptional results. I would especially like to thank Yvan Muller, for his involvement with us. It was very emotional to record a 1-2-3-4 in China, and to see Ma Qing Hua finish on the podium.”