Jose Maria Lopez eyes Le Mans future after Citroen's WTCC exit

Double World Touring Car champion Jose Maria Lopez says he would like to pursue an assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours when Citroen ends his current programme after 2016

Jose Maria Lopez eyes Le Mans future after Citroen's WTCC exit

For a second season in succession Lopez left his WTCC rivals trailing in his wake in 2015, taking seven poles and 10 victories in his works Citroen C-Elysee WTCC on his way to a repeat crown.

The Argentinian will continue with the works squad in a trimmed 2016 line-up, but his future in the discipline thereafter is unclear with Citroen announcing in November it will pull out of the championship at the end of this season.

Lopez admitted he would find it difficult to continue in the WTCC without Citroen - which will focus on its World Rally Championship programme from 2017 - but the 32-year-old said he was eyeing a number of options, including the World Endurance Championship's 24-hour centrepiece.

"I would love to stay with the team, but rallying is not my thing," he told Autosport.

"It will be really a shame if I have to leave this amazing team but I have always said I am trying to find a possibility to race at Le Mans.

"It would great to do this race so maybe I can start to do some experience [in 2016] already and who knows in 2017 maybe find a seat in a prototype."

The 32-year-old won three TC2000 titles when he returned to South America between the end of his single-seater career and his arrival in the WTCC, but would prefer to remain in international racing after his Citroen stint.

"There are so many categories I can look at," Lopez continued.

"I look at DTM, it's fantastic as well but for now I don't know.

"There is WTCC as well, the possibility to stay here, so we will see.

"For the moment I'm a driver who knows what it's like to lose [a drive] so I want to keep all my goals open and see what is best.

"What I'm sure is I want to stay in Europe, I want to keep growing up as a driver, as a person."

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