Drivers’ say about Citroën and Loeb
"I’m pleased to see a new manufacturer enter"
The arrival of Citroën and Sébastian Loeb in 2014 was the topic for conversation in the paddock during last weekend at Porto, when a delegation of Citroën Racing led by Director Yves Matton paid an official visit to the WTCC.
Yvan Muller: “I’m pleased to see a new manufacturer enter and I’m also pleased because I did some work on that some time ago when Sébastien told me he was thinking about his career after rallying. I told him he should consider the WTCC but he wasn’t so sure, especially about the car, so I organized a test for him. We went to Rockingham for a full day and Sébastien said the car was more interesting than he expected and he wanted to come to the WTCC when he finished his rally career.”
Gabriele Tarquini: “It’s great news for the Championship. Sébastien Loeb is a name everybody knows, Citroën is a big manufacturer and they’ve won a lot of championships in rallying. I think they will do another great job in WTCC. I don’t think Loeb will take long to adapt to the kind of racing we have in the WTCC. It’s a lot more physical than some championships – a bit like boxing sometimes, where one driver fights another – but he has competed in the Porsche Supercup and so he is used to the close fights.”
Robert Huff: “It’s great to see that Sébastien looks towards other challenges in his life and it’s nice to think that he sees the World Touring Cars as his next challenge. It raises the profile of the Championship and there’ll be a whole new following for the WTCC on the back of him. It’ll also be interesting to see how he gets on – for sure he’s very quick and so I’m looking forward to seeing how he does. I think as long as he hasn’t upset anyone on the grid already, he’ll get a great welcome! I met him in Istanbul for the FIA Awards last year when I sat next to him at dinner and he struck me as a very easy guy to talk to and a very funny guy.”
James Thompson: “There’s no doubting the credentials of what Citroën has achieved in another world championship and the team clearly knows how to perform. It’ll be another fantastic team in this championship and they’ll be operating at the best level possible. It’s a great compliment that they’re here. It’s always nice to race with drivers of Loeb’s pedigree. For me, he’s the best driver in the world – if my life depended on getting in a car, day or night, rain or shine, to get from A to B then he’s the one person I would sit next to. I’m sure it won’t take him long at all to adapt to this championship and in particular he knows the team and they work around him so that’s a very powerful tool.”
Tom Coronel: “Citroën is a big brand in motorsport but so far on the dirty stuff – mud and gravel – where they proved that they were really strong. I have done Le Mans ten or twelve times and I have seen Loeb there; he is a strong, clever, professional driver and so we get a different type of person attracted to WTCC. It’s good for him to go from the WRC to the WTCC and also for Citroën. You know, when you read a book you don’t read it two or three times, you read it once. When you go and watch a good movie, you maybe see it twice, but after that you are done; there is no adventure any more. He (Loeb) is in that mode at the moment; he needs a new challenge and I think this is a very clever adventure for him.”
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