The season gets underway in Morocco, at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, also known as the Marrakech street circuit. It’s a busy start to the 2014 season, with the first four rounds of this year’s competition taking place over just five weeks.
Since the C-Elysee WTCC car’s very first outing on 10 July 2013, Citroen Racing has undertaken an intense development programme with its four drivers. The driver line-up consists of Sebastien Loeb, Yvan Muller, Jose-María Lopez and Ma Qinq Hua.
While the Citroen C-Elysee, which the WTCC racer is based on, is not currently on sale in the UK it does share many components with both the C3 and DS3 superminis.
Loeb’s presence in the Citroen team has particularly caught the attention of the press and public. The Frenchman is best known for being the most successful World Rally Championship driver of all time, winning nine consecutive drivers’ championships between 2004 and 2012.
Over the last few days, the team has stepped up its efforts even further in the workshops of its technical centre in Versailles. After being assembled, the first three racing cars were put through a “dress rehearsal" at the Magny-Cours circuit to iron out any glitches.
During this dummy run, Citroen Racing’s Managing Director, Yves Matton, took the opportunity to look back at what the team had achieved.
Matton commented: “Starting a season is one thing, but starting your first season in a new discipline is something else entirely. Everything is new to us: the cars, of course, but also the equipment, the methods, the regulations, the race strategy – Every member of Citroen Racing has invested a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to ensure that we are ready when the time comes.
“Of course, we would have liked to have had a few more days to prepare, but we can’t wait to get to Marrakech.
It will be the culmination of over a year’s work. Our challenge now is to develop the essential reflexes we need in order to be strong performers in WTCC. We will be looking closely at our first times to see where we stand in relation to the competition."