“I am thirilled. This is a new important step in my racing career!” a delighted José-María ‘Pechito’ López said after he was presented by Citroën Racing as the third driver in the 2014 WTCC.
“I hope I will be able to help the team in developing and setting up the car so that we do a good job on the track,” said López who managed to win a WTCC race on his maiden appearance, last Summer at Termas de Río Hondo.
“I think that winning that race was instrumental for being invited to test the Citroën at Valencia and Monza. Then other factors contributed to their decision of hiring me, like my professionalism and working method. It’s not only a matter of driving fast.”
López will team up with four-time WTCC champion Yvan Muller and nine-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to be part of such an impressive team, alongside two monsters like Yvan and Sébastien. I come from Córdoba, a region that is crazy about rally, and to find myself as Loeb’s team-mate is just a dream.”
Pechito is the first Argentine driver to commit in WTCC for the full season. The last time one of his fellow countrymen was in the position to fight for a world title dates back to the 1981 F1 championship, when Carlos Reutemann finished second behind Nelson Piquet.
The only Argentine driver to be sacred World Champion was the legendary Juan-Manuel Fangio who won five F1 titles between 1951 and 1957.
“I am very proud to represent my Country in a World Championship. And the simple idea of hearing my name connected to those of Fangio and Reutemann is a very powerful motivation!”