John Filippi to drive Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen C-Elysee in WTCC
|By Jack Cozens and Emmanuel Rolland||Friday, February 3rd 2017, 11:00 GMT|
John Filippi will race a Citroen C-Elysee in the World Touring Car Championship this season after completing a move to Sebastien Loeb Racing.
Frenchman Filippi first competed in the championship in 2014, racing a SEAT Leon 1.6T in the TC2 class with Campos Racing.
For the past two campaigns he has driven a TC1 Chevrolet Cruze for Campos, last season finishing 17th overall with a best finish of eighth at the Hungaroring, but will now switch to drive an ex-factory C-Elysee with SLR.
The 21-year-old joins Tom Chilton in being confirmed at the squad, which last year ran Mehdi Bennani to the Independents' Trophy title.
"I'm joining one of the best teams on the grid," Filippi told Autosport's sister brand Motorsport.com France.
"It's a unique opportunity for me at this stage of my career.
"I looked at some options in TCR and Blancpain among others, [but] work eventually paid off and I'm very happy with my situation for the upcoming season.
"Even though WTCC is going through a few hardships, it's still a very high-level championship, with good media coverage and high-calibre drivers.
"The Citroen C-Elysee has clearly been the best car for three years; it was dominant as early as its very first race in the championship.
"Of course, official teams will have the means to develop their cars more quickly, but the Citroen car still is a safe bet.
"When you want to be a professional driver, you need to be able to adapt to a car as early as the first few laps.
"I'll be a bit short of experience driving the C-Elysee at the start of the season, but I'm counting on my experience from the last three years to get the best out of myself and the car.
"It's a new challenge for me, and a great opportunity."
CONFIRMED 2017 WTCC LINE-UP SO FAR
Honda: Tiago Monteiro, Norbert Michelisz, Ryo Michigami
Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen: Tom Chilton, John Filippi
Munnich Motorsport Citroen: Rob Huff
Zengo Motorsport Honda: Aurelien Panis