In a press conference ahead of the two WTCC races at Porto, the General Manager of the WTCC Marcello Lotti welcomed Yves Matton, the Team Principal of Citroen Racing and Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, the teams Technical Director.
Marcello Lotti: Citroen is a very experienced champion brand in motorsport and Sebastien Loeb doesnt need any introduction from me! Never in the history of the FIA championships has a champion in one category also won the title in another discipline. Loeb is the first to potentially do this and for me this is very exciting; this is in the hands of Loeb and Citroen to make this happen.
Yves Matton: The WTCC is a global discipline and its very important for a brand like Citroen to be involved in the Championship and in particular the rounds in some of our key markets. With the new regulations, the budget is very reasonable and the car we will use is a car the customer can identify - that is very important for us.
Xavier Mestelan-Pinon: We have never designed a car for a circuit before and so its a very exciting time for everyone in the team. It might be a car with the engine in the front, but we must discover everything about the car from the very beginning and its the same for everyone; the engineers, the drivers and the team manager.The trio then answered a variety of questions from journalists, during which Yves Matton confirmed that the WTCC will be the priority for the team in 2014, that attracting experienced people to the team would be vital. and that if he was interested, we would certainly like to bring (ex Formula One and current Citroen rally driver) Robert Kubica to at least one round next year.When asked if a French WTCC round had been discussed, Matton replied that it would be a good idea.
Testing is planned to begin this summer and the team is looking for a driver to partner Sebastien Loeb who has extensive previous experience of the WTCC.