Muller And Seat Take Honours At Gala
The FIA officially crowned Yvan Muller as the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Champion at an awards event in Monaco. It was a fitting finale to another exciting season, where Muller claimed victory at the final race, helping SEAT to become the first team to win the manufacturers championship with a diesel car.
One year after losing the 2007 title to Andy Priaulx on the last lap of the first race in Macau, Muller clinched the title by finishing third at this year's race. His team mate Gabriele Tarquini, the only other driver still in contention in the title fight, had to settle for second place.
Yvan Muller said:
"One year ago in Macau I was very sad but now I am on top of the world. When you lose a world championship on the last lap because of a technical failure you remember it for weeks and months. When you win, you forget quickly, but I shall remember this for a long time.
"You have to do your best to win a world championship, but at the same time you have to have a great team to give you that opportunity. SEAT Sport gave me that opportunity. I also have to say thank you to my mechanics and to all my team mates, because we all progressed together and worked together during the season."
It was testament to the excitement of the championship that 14 different drivers, representing four different car makers, obtained at least one victory. But the Championship belonged to SEAT and their Leon TDI cars, which claimed 11 victories out of 24 races and earned the Spanish marque the Manufacturers' Championship ahead of BMW and Chevrolet.
SEAT Sport Director Jaime Puig, who collected the manufacturers' trophy, said:
"It has been a fantastic season. We have a great team. I think sometimes when you do something different to the others you may win. And this was the case with SEAT when we decided to switch to the turbo diesel engine during the 2008 season. And we are proud to be the first car manufacturer to become world champion with a diesel car."