Citroen WTCC plans to wrap Drivers’ title at penultimate round

2015-WTCC-Argentina-Ma-Qing-Hua Five weeks after winning the WTCC Manufacturers Championship, Citroen WTCC intends to wrap up the Drivers’ title as well at a brand new track on the calendar, the Chang Circuit in Thailand. After trips to Japan and China, WTCC’s Asian tour ends in Thailand’s Burinam vicinity where the track’s located, 400 km north-east of the capital city, Bangkok.

The Chang International Circuit, which was built right next to a 32,000-seater stadium, was officially opened in October 2014. Therefore, WTCC drivers tackle the Chang track for the very first time; current Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez commented, “In terms of average speed, Buriram will be the second-quickest, between the Nürburgring and Vila Real. There aren’t a lot of tight bends and we are going to be spending a lot of time going at full tilt. I think Turn No. 4 will be particularly interesting.”

“It reminds me of the Signes bend at the Paul Ricard Circuit, except that it’s a left-hand turn. The track is wide, with clear tarmacked sections, and we will have to be careful to stay within the bounds of the racing surface. Another vital factor will be the weather: it will not only be hot, but humid too. These will probably be the toughest conditions of the season,” he added.

The drivers’ title goes down to the wire between two Citroen drivers, either Reigning chanmpion Lopez or four-time WTCC champion Yvan Muller. But, Lopez practically has it in the bag; after five pole positions, eight race wins and sixteen podium finishes in twenty races, Lopez has notched up 396 points. With a 75-point lead over his teammate, Lopez is looking good for his second consecutive WTCC title, and it all boils down to the next two races. “I have prepared well and I know how many points I need to score to become WTCC champion. Of course, whenever I get into my Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, I’m aiming for the best possible result. But this weekend, my sole objective will be to secure the title. It would be great to do it with a win, but I’ll be trying to stay out of the in-race battles to make sure I get the points I still need. I’ll be battling with myself rather than against my competitors!” Lopez shared.

Muller, who’s not giving up without a fight plans, to push the title battle into the finale in Qatar, “Mathematically, I’m still in with a shot in the title race. But realistically, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I would have to produce two perfect weekends and hope that Jose M. (Lopez) went virtually pointless… It seems a little far-fetched! Above all, I will be trying to perform well and to win some more races.”

A total domination in this season’s WTCC has witnessed Citroen drivers occupy the top four in the standings, which include the likes of 9-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua in third and fourth places, respectively. Loeb has three wins to his name this season and is 39 points adrift Muller in the standings. He targets to challenge his countryman for the runners up spot in the final four races. Ma, on the other hand, is hundred plus points behind Loeb and looks to defend his fourth place from Norbert Michelisz in the remaining rounds.