Citroën dominated the 2016 World Touring Car Championship and its four drivers José María López, Yvan Muller, Sébastien Loeb and Qing Hua Ma finished as the...
WTCC dominance from Citroën
Citroën dominated the 2016 World Touring Car Championship and its four drivers José María López, Yvan Muller, Sébastien Loeb and Qing Hua Ma finished as the top four in the championship. Best of the best was once again Lopez who defended his World Championship title in style, with a second straight title. The all conquering French team have certainly set the bar high for their competitors, although they scale down their effort in 2016 to two cars for Lopez and Muller.
Volvo recently announced their return to WTCC with a full campaign in 2016 with two Öhlins shod cars for Swedish drivers Thed Björk and Fredrik Ekblom.
Öhlins equipped teams from Lada and Chevrolet have also previously announced they will continue in WTCC next year.
1-2 in super close Nürburgring 24HR
Teams using Öhlins had a fantastic year at Nürburgring 24 hours in 2015. The brand new Audi R8 LMS had an impressive debut with several cars in the top 10, with Audi Sport Team WRT claiming the win thanks to its team and the drivers Christopher Mies, Edward Sandström, Nico Müller and Laurens Vanthoor.
They were challenged once again by Marc VDS who claimed second spot in their BMW Z4 GT3 at this famous track where Marc VDS are always in contention. Only 40 seconds separated the two teams after 156 laps and 24 hours of racing.
Underlining this success was a further five Öhlins shod GT cars in the top ten, thanks to the efforts from Marc VDS’ second car as well as other teams using the Audi, BMW Z4 GT3, Bentley and Nissan GT-R.
World Endurance Championship
After winning the first two rounds (Spa and Silverstone) the Öhlins equipped World Endurance Audi team missed out on a 14th victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans. They then achieved further podiums at the shorter, intense Six Hours races of Nürburgring, Circuit of the Americas, Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain to take second overall in the series.
Fellow Öhlins team, Toyota, had a tougher season but finished the season with a podium in the season finale at Bahrain. A nine round series in 2016 looks set to take this prestigious series to even greater heights, and with new cars coming from both Audi and Toyota the competition will only get tougher.
Swedish stars at World Rallycross...
There was further success for Öhlins in the high-octane FIA World Rallycross series. Peugeot Team Hansen wrapped up the team title with a strong second half of the season as Timmy Hansen nearly claimed the drivers title as well. His team-mate, Frenchman Davy Jeanney, also had a good season and celebrated his first win in World Rallycross.
After a difficult start Ford Olsbergs MSE also charged through when they found new speed in their Ford Fiestas and during the second part of the season Andreas Bakkerud was often the man to beat.
Audis DTM-star Mattias Ekström also needs to be recognised. He continued to mix his full-time duties as one of Audi’s stars in DTM to continue to build his own Rallycross team. He made several starts himself in one of his team’s two EKSRX Audi S1 models, and won his home race in Höljes – one of the season’s big highlights. Despite driving far from a full season, he placed sixth overall.
Success in the high-end world of GT Racing
Backing up their Nürburgring 24HR success, Öhlins equipped cars took many titles and race wins throughout the various GT events around the world in 2015. These included the blue riband Blancpain Endurance Series Pro Cup (GT) as Alex Buncombe, Wolfgang Reip and Katsumasa Chiyo took their Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 to the top step of the podium. Öhlins equipped cars were also victorious in the Sprint Series Cup class, and Bentleys, the new Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, Lamborghinis, and McLaren’s GT3 challenger all enjoyed success in various GT3 championships during the year.
Japanese dream finishes in Super GT and Super Formula Series
Once again, the Super GT Series in Japan proved an enthralling series and Öhlins enjoyed another Championship title as the Gainer Tanax GT-R team wrapped up both the GT300 driver and team titles with a round to spare.
In the high end single seater class of the ‘Japan Super Formula Series’, Hiroaki Ishiura took his Toyota R14A to the title and claimed yet another single seater success for an Öhlins shod car in this important Far Eastern championship.