The Citroen C-Elysée World Touring Car Championship cars recorded a magnificent one-two-three-four in Shanghai, as José María López won race one ahead of Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller & Sébastien Loeb. This unprecedented clean sweep ensured Citroën became Manufacturers' World Champions.
This is the first international championship that Citroen has won on the track, after five Cross Country Rally World Cups & eight WRC titles
After taking four of the front five positions in qualifying, Citroen Total had already made a very strong impression at the Shanghai International Circuit. Race one got underway with the stands packed with fans all cheering on local hero Ma Qing Hua.
When the lights went out, José María López leapt into the lead ahead of his Chinese team-mate and Yvan Muller. Fifth on the grid, Sébastien Loeb mistimed his start and ended the first lap down in seventh place. Ma Qing Hua, who looked sharp, badgered Pechito López on his home track, putting him under pressure. Despite locking his brakes a few times, the leader remained in front but was unable to open up any sort of lead.
Meanwhile, Sébastien Loeb began to make a spectacular comeback. First Tiago Monteiro, then Gabriele Tarquini and finally Norbert Michelisz were all unable to withstand the pressure applied by the former rally driver. Just before the halfway stage in the race, Citroen were on course to record a one-two-three-four.
The four Citroen C-Elysées regrouped just before the chequered flag, capturing a historic moment for the brand. José María López, Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb secured the title of Manufacturers' World Champions for their team.
by: Rebecca Chaplin