Lopez, the new champion
Jose Maria Lopez is the new WTCC Champion, a title the Argentine Citroen driver conquered in Suzuka, Japan, with one meeting remaining
The eleven laps on the Suzuka circuit for the first race on Sunday will sound to many like a perfect picture for the complete season, with Pechito Lopez keeping his cool at the lead from mights to flag, and opposition lead by racing legends Yvan Muller and Sebastien Loeb, only trailing.
After another beautiful drive, the Rio Tercero driver, 31, won a ninth victory this season while a fourth place would have been to secure the first place in the standings, his since the season kick-off in Morocco.
Lopez took the race leading Tom Chilton’s Chevrolet and Loeb’s C-Élysées. Müller suffered a puncture. His “chronic lack of success”, driver said, was again on display in this race on the big Suzuka track.
In the second race, under reverse grid, outsiders partied and Tarquini brought his Honda Civic to the chequered flag first. Lopez finished sixth, just behind Loeb, with a huge smile!
According Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Director, Lopez is “a beautiful World Champion for Citroen, for Argentina and for the FIA WTCC! We are happy and proud to have led to the title, because it is a boy who shines as much by its performance than its human qualities. ”
57 – The number of years since Argentina expected a racing world champion. It was at the time a certain Juan Manuel Fangio, five times Formula 1 world champion!
The man who defeated two world champions at Citroen, Jose Maria “Pechito” Lopez, was spotted by Citroën in 2013. As a guest driver, he won one of the two races in Termas de Rio Hondo. The beginning of a fairy tale.
“It’s very special to win on one of the favorite circuits of Ayrton Senna. He won two titles here and I’m proud to do the same. “Lopez joined other South American legend triumphing at Suzuka. After the race his coronation, he also thanked his family and of course his whole team.
Macao (China, november 16th)