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Jose Maria Lopez stunned by 2014 World Touring Car success

World Touring Car champion Jose Maria Lopez says he was taken aback by his dominance of the 2014 season

Sometime Formula 3000/GP2 frontrunner and Renault Formula 1 test driver Lopez came to the WTCC having won three TC2000 titles in his native Argentina.

He took a reversed-grid race win on his WTCC debut with the Wiechers BMW team at Termas de Rio Hondo in 2013 before Citroen signed him for its maiden campaign.

The 31-year-old won 10 races and claimed the 2014 title by 126 points over four-time WTCC champion team-mate Yvan Muller.

AUTOSPORT rates the 2014 WTCC field

"At the beginning it was difficult for me and the team to set out a main objective as we didn't know the championship and Citroen was coming from rallying," Lopez told AUTOSPORT.

"It has been much better than I expected. I ended having broken the record for wins and points in a season, against very experienced guys, including Yvan who has been the reference driver in the series for many years.

"It will be difficult for me to equal this [in 2015]; it has been my best [performance in a] championship in my career.

"Of course I had the best car on the grid, but I also had three team-mates and this makes the value of what I have done better."

Muller suggested that Lopez's greater affinity with Citroen's simulator played a part in the Argentinean's quick adaptation to the WTCC.

Lopez agreed using the technology had assisted him and Citroen's third full-time driver Sebastien Loeb.

"There were eight tracks this year that I didn't know. I am sure the work I have been doing with Seb in the simulator has helped," he said.

"To have never been to Macau before and won in my first year... but things have been like that all year - just amazing."

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