WTCC: Citroën Total team, the hot favourite to retain its 2015 titles
‣ TOTAL is the main partner of Citroen Racing since 2014 in World Tourism Car Championship (WTCC).
The Citroën C-Elysée dominated its rivals for the 2 nd year in a row in the World Touring Car Championship (in 2015 21 victories out of 24 races, in 2014 16 victories out of 24 races and 4 World Champion Titles).
Citroen Racing drivers José Maria Lopez, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua ended last year 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the Drivers’championship. One more time in 2016 it looks like beating the French team will be a formidable task.
Discover in video Citroën Total Team looking for new success in 2016
For the new 2016 season Citroen Racing will devote 2 official cars for reigning champion José Maria Lopez and his French team mate Yvan Muller.
To a trained eye, the aerodynamic evolutions brought to the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC over the winter are notable. Yet, it is the livery of the double World Champion that draws attention! After two seasons in white and grey, the bodywork of the Citroën Total team cars is now primarily matte and glossy red.
“The Citroën C-Elysée was really quick out of the box in its early races,” analyses Philippe Girard, the Total Group scientific delegate.“The marriage between the chassis and the engine is a success and the car reacts very quickly to setup adjustments. On the basis of sound reliability our lubricants have already led to an increase in performance in the fuel feed, and this season we will continue to explore different sources of power.
Discover in video our new cars and drivers’interviews of what is at stake for 2016:
‣ 5 cars in Total colours
In addition to the two cars entered by the Citroën Racing team, Total is also partner of Sebastien Loeb Racing which runs 3 Citroën C-Elysée WTCC for Moroccan Mehdi Bennani , British Tom Chilton and French Grégoire Demoustier.
“One month before the start of the 2016 season, this group test session with our main rivals allowed for confirming the performance level of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. Our objectives are as simple to sum up as they are as hard to achieve: we want to retain the Manufacturers and Drivers titles won in 2014 and 2015. Still driven by passion, enthusiasm and humility, the team is united around this ambition, beginning with our two drivers. Between them, Pechito and Yvan have won six of the last eight FIA WTCC titles. They are the best duo to take on the challenge of a third consecutive crown. Yvan and Pechito have the same hunger to win and they will set off –like the previous seasons – on equal terms.”
“It looks like it will be an interesting season, with new cars and quite a few changes among the drivers. The rule changes will also modify the approach to a race weekend. I think that the ‘team spirit’ will be more important than ever before. And for that, Citroën Racing is the best team that I've ever been with. Yvan and I have worked closely together for two years and we have forged a relationship built on mutual respect and the goal to take Citroën to the top. We looked to make progress this winter, but now it is hard to improve a car as successful as the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. Each change takes more time than before, because the engineers must analyse everything to verify that an evolution will be truly beneficial. It will be even more complicated for us, especially with the 80kg of ballast that we will carry at the start of the championship. Everyone seems to expect us to continue to win, but I think the competition will be stiffer. We will give our best effort to win both titles while having fun. "
“There is always a certain amount of excitement coming into a new season. After these months off, I am anxious to return to action, to see if we have done a good job this winter and where we are compared to the competition. Like each year, the WTCC brings its share of innovations. Obviously, there is the arrival of a new manufacturer, but also a new rules package that will change tactics. Even though the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC begins itsthird season, we still wanted to evolve the car despite a lower progression of margin. My ambitions are still the same, since I have raced in this championship, I have systematically finished on the season ending podium. It will be the same year, if possible taking a fifth world championship. To do this, everything will have to fall into place, especially success. That is also part of a driver’s work.”
The aim is to do as well as last year. All R&D on lubricants are very, very important on such competition cars that are made to work at their limits, in every way.
We have a real sharing of common values with Citroen, on the idea to push the limits. It is the permanence seek of excellence. At this level of performance, you can not afford just to be very good; because all the teams are very good, we must be excellent.