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Ma Qing Hua reunited with Sébastien Loeb Racing for Macau

Citroën C-Elysée World Touring Car awaits two-time winner

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By Olivier Ferret

24 September 2017 - 09:24
Ma Qing Hua reunited with Sébastien (...)

Ma Qing Hua will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship at WTCC Race of Macau in a Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën. In doing so, he will revive a partnership that netted two victories including what was the first for a Chinese driver in an FIA world championship motor race.

After making a winning start to his WTCC career in a Citroën C-Elysée midway through 2014, the 29-year-old tackled the full 2015 season, finishing fourth in the standings and adding a second win on the streets of Vila Real to his debut triumph at the Moscow Raceway the previous year.

While he was entered under the Citroën Total WTCC banner, Sébastien Loeb Racing provided full technical support. And despite not having driven a World Touring Car in anger since November 2015, Ma will be raring to go in Macau, the penultimate event of the WTCC season.

“I’m very positive about this opportunity and really pleased to come back to this championship,” said the Chinese racer. “I have no downside on street circuits. When I raced in 2015 I won in Vila Real. Macau is a legendary place, an amazing city and I really appreciate the chance to do it again this year. It will take a little while for sure to get back into the rhythm but it should be fine and I still have a strong memory from those cars and I still have the feeling.”

Ma will form part of an expanded Sébastien Loeb Racing line-up in Macau that will feature title chasers Mehdi Bennani and Tom Chilton, plus young Frenchman John Filippi. And Ma is braced for the strong competition he will face as one of the most wide-open WTCC seasons for nearly a decade draws to a close on one of the most challenging race tracks in the world.

“I have been watching the WTCC races this season and the competition is very close with the Volvo cars and the fact Honda has improved a lot,” said Ma. “We have seen this year the Citroën can still be at the front and I believe in the team. I’ve worked with them before, they’re more experienced with these cars and they always give me good confidence. The WTCC is a championship where you fight to the end and everything can happen in the races. There is no question I would like to do the full championship again.”

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, said: “It’s great news Ma Qing Hua is coming back to the WTCC in Macau for the benefit of the WTCC in China and Asia. He is a good ambassador of motorsport in the region and I’m certain he comes back in the best possible conditions with the Sébastien Loeb Racing team. With the title race still wide open, the WTCC’s long-awaited return to Macau has just got even better.”

WTCC Race of Macau takes place from 16-19 November with the famous Guia Race contested over an eight-lap Opening Race from 14h10 on Saturday 18 November and the 10-lap Main Race from 10h40 on Sunday 19 November. Meanwhile, the all-new Ningbo International Speedpark hosts WTCC Race of China from 13-15 October.

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