We Are The Champions (Part 4)
In the three FIA World Championships that I have looked at so far, one team dominated, outperforming their rivals; would that be the case in the FIA World Touring Car Championship?
In a word, yes. Citroën pulverized the opposition, winning 21 of the 24 races at the twelve events. The Championship is split into Manufacturers and Independent teams, with four Hondas and three Ladas providing the opposition to the French in the factory class.
All four of Citroën’s drivers won at least one race and on ten occasions they claimed all three steps of the podium.
Drivers World Champion for the second year in a row was the popular Argentinian, José María López, who scored ten wins and a further nine podium places to comfortably beat his team mate, Yvan Muller, a four-time World Champion.
Rally legend Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua took third and fourth places to give Citroën a clean sweep in the World Championship, Honda and Lada were routed.
The 2015 FIA WTCC had a truly global reach, with races in places as diverse as Argentina, Morocco, Thailand and Qatar, reflecting the worldwide popularity of touring car racing.
The WTCC visited Moscow in the heat of early summer, photography is always challenging in such conditions, so embrace the haze...
Perhaps the biggest coup for the WTCC in 2015 was to stage the first FIA World Championship race on the Nordschleife since 1983. Joining the massive audience of over 200,000 that turned up for the Nürburging 24 Hours, the WTCC put on a show, particularly in the fiercely contested second race.
2016 will witness the final season of Citroën in the FIA WTCC, as they're off to the World Rally Championship in 2017. The French will reduce their effort to a brace of C-Elysée WTCC cars for López and Muller; Loeb leaves the Championship altogether but his team will continue to run three cars. In place of Citroën is Volvo, who will race a pair of C60 Polestars. With Lada and Honda getting closer (and Citroën running another 20kgs of ballast), it's going to be another great year of racing.
(Photos: Copyright and courtesy of Citroën Racing Media)