Photo: Citroën Racing

Yves Matton says Citroën will investigate cut-off valve failure

Citroën Racing Team Principal Yves Matton has confirmed the team will thoughoughly investigate the cut-off valve failure which has seen José María López and Sébastien Loeb excluded from qualifying in the second round of the 2014 WTCC season, which may include changing their supplier.

Loeb and López had all their times deleted after the fuel safety cut-off valve didn’t perform correctly in scrutineering when the cars were checked after qualifying.

This means Loeb and López will start from the back of the grid for both of tomorrow’s races, while Yvan Muller is elevated to pole position for race one, with the system on Muller’s car having functioned correctly.

“We still have one car on pole position, and (Loeb and López) will do their best to get the best position possible tomorrow in both races,” said Matton to TouringCarTimes.

“The main disappointment is the fact that it’s a part that brings no extra performance, and comes from an outside company. It was tested in Marrakech and it was working, it was tested before the start of the weekend and it was working, and now two of three weren’t working, and we don’t know why for the moment, but we have to accept it.”

The cut-off valve is part of the safety system which prevents fuel from dispensing in the case of accidental damage. Matton confirmed that this could easily have happened to another team as well, but acknowledges that Citroën were always at risk of being caught out by the different technical regulations in the WTCC, coming from a different motorsport.

“It’s possible that it could happen to everybody who has this type of part. I don’t know who is running this type of cut-off valve,” he said.

“For this weekend, the first thing will be to replace them and to try and understand why this happened, and in the future – there is more than one producer for this type of valve, so we’ll see if we change it if we think that we are not 100% safe with this brand.”

“It is also a new technology that we don’t use in rallying, this cut-off valve is something specific to touring cars.”

Matton added that Loeb and López are of course disappointed to lose out through a technical anomaly which is no fault of their own, but that they’re both understanding of the circumstances.

“They know that these things can happen. When you have done a perfect job you are always disappointed that you don’t have the reward, but they’ve been in motorsport a long time and it’s not the first time that they have had a disappointment (like this).”