Citroen risked and Citroen was rewarded. The Versailles-based team had committed itself to 'Project M43' and the building of a test-hack World Touring Car Championship machine before the introduction of TC1 regulations for 2014 was rubber-stamped.
The move, along with throwing resources at an intensive year of testing, transformed a World Rally Championship-winning team into a circuit racing virtuoso. The foundations for a record-breaking season had been laid.
The three Citroen C-Elysee racers, Yvan Muller, Sebastien Loeb and Jose Maria Lopez, arrived at the Marrakesh season-opener in April carrying a performance advantage of daunting magnitude.