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As in 2014 and 2015, the Citroën Total team once again has a date with destiny in Shanghai. Citroën only needs two more points to secure their third consecutive FIA World Touring Car Championship. In the driver standings, it’s now all about battling for second place behind the unassailable José María López. Currently lying in joint second position, Yvan Muller will be doing all he can to make it a one-two for the Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs.

Since its first foray into motor racing in 1993, Citroën has notched up fifteen FIA world titles: five Rally-Raid World Cups (1993 to 1997), eight World Rally Championships (2003-2005 and 2008-2012) and two World Touring Car Championships (2014 and 2015).

In this, its third and final season in the WTCC, Citroën Racing’s goal is to retain the manufacturers’ title. In the driver stakes, José María López secured his third successive crown* at the last round in Motegi. Citroën now needs just two points in the WTCC manufacturers’ standings, to clinch its sixteenth world title in 23 years. If all goes to plan, celebrations should be in order for the Citroën Total team after this Saturday afternoon’s qualifying sessions.

The team is determined to produce a performance befitting their reputation in China, Citroën’s largest global market, and repeat history at the Shanghai International Circuit where the manufacturer picked up its world titles in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 race in Shanghai remains etched in everyone’s memory, as Citroën Racing claimed the top four finishing positions, with José María López, Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb at the wheel.

This year, there is another important honour up for grabs: second in the Drivers’ World Championship. Since his win in Japan, Yvan Muller has been level with Tiago Monteiro in second place, with 199 points. The two rivals will also have to keep an eye on Rob Huff (on 178 points) and Norbert Michelisz (172 points) just behind them.

In their Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs prepared by the SLR team, Mehdi Bennani is on 160 points and Tom Chilton 143. Bennani and Chilton will also be competing for the WTCC Trophy, reserved for private drivers.

It promises to be an intense fight all the way to the end of the season in Qatar. Four-time World Champion Yvan Muller is determined to use all his experience to hold onto his position.

Once again, the adjusted compensation weights look set to influence proceedings this weekend.
The Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs will continue to carry the maximum ballast of 80kg, while the Hondas will drop to 60kg. The Volvos, Chevrolets and Ladas, meanwhile, will be totally ballast-free.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

José María López: “Even though I achieved my goal in Motegi, I still have plenty of motivation for the end of the season! First of all, we have to secure the manufacturers’ title. Next, I’ll be doing all I can to help Yvan get the runner-up spot, which is very important for the team. Finally, I would like to close this chapter of my career on a positive note. I want to enjoy the last two meetings as much as I can. I like the Shanghai circuit. It’s always nice driving on F1 tracks and it’s an interesting course. There is a lot of variety and plenty of overtaking opportunities. I won pole positions and races here in 2014 and 2015, so I hope to do the same this year!”

Yvan Muller: “I owe it to myself to finish in second place in the World Championship, for Citroën and for the whole team. In the past, I have gone through highs and lows in China and Qatar, but I still think we will do pretty well. We will have quite a fight on our hands, as our rivals have made huge progress this season. At the same time, our car is still the heaviest and we will have to keep a close eye on everyone, particularly the manufacturers with no ballast this weekend. I find Shanghai an interesting circuit. I like its speed, and its long straight is tailor-made for the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC.”

* All results subject to official confirmation from the FIA

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