Thanks to the combined efforts of Yvan Muller, Mehdi Bennani and José María López, Citroën maintained their lead on the planet Championship by winning MAC3.
The FIA WTCC qualifying sessions at the new-look Moulay El Hassan circuit in Marrakech did not visit strategy for the Citroën Total drivers. José María López joined the hunt for pole position, yet eventually clocked the fourth-fastest time, while Yvan Muller missed out on an area in Q3 by eleven thousandths of a second. Thanks to the combined efforts of Muller, Bennani and López, Citroën maintained their lead on the planet Championship by winning MAC3.
On Friday, the FIA WTCC drivers got their initial taste of the brand-new Moulay El Hassan circuit, which passes through avenues in the outskirts of Marrakech. A narrow, slow-moving circuit along with variable grip as a result of various road surfaces, the road did not prove a strike along with the competitors.
On Saturday morning, however, they had to go out and locate the right setup for qualifying and the races. The Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs likewise had to contend along with 40 kg a lot more ballast Compared to their nearest rivals. José María López finished 3rd in the 2 sessions, showing just what the double Globe Championship-winning vehicle is capable of.
Qualifying began along with a thirty-min initial session, fairly Compared to the usual 20, as a result of the risk of red flags. There were to be no interruptions to the action, however, and the official Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs finished comfortably in the top twelve.
In the dying seconds of Q2, Pechito made an unstoppable initiative to snatch the fastest time of the day (1m21.457s), simply 6 thousands of a second ahead of Norbert Michelisz! Yvan Muller improved his time as the session progressed, yet could not secure an area in Q3, ending up along with the sixth-quickest time.
The just Citroën driver in the mix for pole position, then, was José María López, that began his Q3 lap along with a record-breaking initial sector. yet after hitting a rumblestrip hard on turn number 4, the Argentine broke the aerodynamic splitter on his front bumper. He ended up along with the fourth-fastest time, 0.162s off pole position.
With the cars remaining in the parc fermé prior to MAC3, Pechito was forced to compete along with a damaged vehicle. Yvan Muller and Mehdi Bennani therefore went out first, in the chance that their teammate’s C-Elysée would certainly last the distance. The Citroëns made an impressive performance to clock the very best time over the 2 laps and thus claim 10 a lot more points for their Manufacturers’ Globe Championship tally.
What they had to say
Yves Matton (group Principal, Citroën Racing): “Provided the nature of the circuit and the weight difference along with the various other teams, we knew that we would certainly should take risks to compete for pole position. Pechito gave it absolutely every little thing and we can’t blame your man for trying! Obviously, it’s not an suitable situation going in to the races, particularly at a circuit where it appears impossible to overtake. yet our drivers will certainly be prepared to seize the slightest opportunity.”
José María López: “Pole placement was possible, as we showed in Q2 by clocking the very best time of the day… I believe I pushed a little harder Compared to the various other Citroën C-Elysée WTCC drivers and I wanted to attack harder still in Q3. I gained a mistake and lost manage of my vehicle as quickly as braking at turn no. 4. I lost a great half a second by hitting the rumblestrip. That compromised my lap, yet likewise MAC3, as we couldn’t repair my broken bumper. We didn’t understand if the vehicle was going to make it through, yet once again, it proved fairly solid! I’m mad along with myself since I don’t love making mistakes. yet I’ll learn from today and that will certainly advice me do much better next time.”
Yvan Muller: “Despite being disadvantaged by our ballast – 40 kg a lot more Compared to our main rivals – and a circuit that doesn’t benefit speed, we had the potential to pull off a truly excellent result today. I wasn’t totally comfortable along with my setup yet I still did my finest to attempt and secure an area in Q3. There were just a couple of thousandths in it. It’s a shame, since finishing sixth puts me in two durable placements on the starting grids. Fortunately, we scored max points for Citroën in MAC3.”