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Citroën satisfied despite Hungary defeat

The Citroën Racing team was satisfied with its haul from the World Touring Car Championship’s visit to Hungary despite losing its 100 per-cent race win record in 2015.

Despite each of the outfit’s C-Elysees having been given a compensatory success ballast of 60 kilograms for the third round of the season, the team completed a clean-sweep of benchmark times during Saturday’s sessions including a first pole of the season for Yvan Muller.

Race one then brought a fifth one-two for the team from as many races as championship leader José María López jumped Muller off the line to record his third victory of the campaign.

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But a race two win for Zengo Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz saw Citroën fail to win a race for the first time this season, while a best result of fifth for Sébastien Loeb also marked the first time since the second race in Hungary last year that one of the marque’s drivers was unable to finish on the podium.

Race one winner López was nevertheless pleased with his weekend, having increased his championship lead by a further 16 points over team-mate Loeb.

“I think my start to race 1 was the best I’ve ever made in the WTCC,” he exclaimed. “I’m really happy with this win, particularly after qualifying, which didn’t go brilliantly.

“Points-wise, this meeting has allowed me to extend my lead over Seb slightly, so it’s all positive.”

While Muller was able to draw positives from his performance despite losing out to López in race one, Loeb was less happy with the weekend’s events, having lost ground in the championship battle.

“I would have preferred to win, but I didn’t get as good a start as Pechito,” said Muller.” I was out of the running after the first bend. I fought hard for the first three or four laps, then held back a little to avoid taking any pointless risks. Second is better than third!”

“I got away well in race 1, before making a mistake in my procedure,” admitted Loeb. “At the end of the straight, Ma moved over in front of me and we hit each other.

“My splitter was damaged and I wasn’t able to overtake. My second start was much better, but I spent the whole race behind Tiago Monteiro. He didn’t slip up once.”

Despite Loeb’s frustration, Team Principal Yves Matton was happy with the team’s performance across the weekend, particularly given the additional weight that its machines had been given to carry.

“We knew that this would be a difficult weekend, with a weight penalty of 60 kg on the most winding circuit of the season,” he said. “Despite that, we have come out of the meeting with one pole position and one one-two finish.

“This first European meeting of the year has confirmed the popularity of FIA WTCC in Central Europe. We are satisfied with our weekend, but our thoughts are already turning to the next round at the Nürburgring. It promises to be one of the highlights of the World Championship.” 


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