HUFF AND MICHELISZ SHARE VICTORIES CHEVROLET TAKES MANUFACTURERS' TITLE
The final races of the season were full of coups de theâtre, as they always are on the infamous streets of Macau.
Overtaking manoeuvres, incidents and red flags provided plenty of excitement to spectators and TV viewers in a day that culminated with Chevrolet celebrating a double world title - something than none of the GM brands had ever achieved before - and consecrated the 26-year old Norbert Michelisz as one of the best touring car drivers at the end of his maiden professional season.
If the WTCC had arrived in Macau with the Drivers' title already in the hands of Yvan Muller, there was still enough at stake to thrill the fans.
Rob Huff claimed a dominant light-to-flag victory in Race 1, giving Chevrolet the Manufacturers' title and jumping ahead of Gabriele Tarquini to second in the Drivers' Championship.
In Race 2 Michelisz imitated Huff, taking the lead from Kristian Poulsen at the first braking point and managing to keep Tarquini at safe distance despite the fact that the race was suspended and restarted. In the six WTCC seasons held so far Michelisz was only the second driver - after Tom Coronel in Japan in 2008 - to claim an overall victory without driving a factory or factory-backed car.
The fight for the second place in the championship ended under the chequered flag, where Tarquini beat Huff by three tenths. They finished the season on equal points, but the Italian prevailed for having won five races against three.
The third man in contention, Andy Priaulx lost his chance when he was caught in a pile up at the start of the first race.
In the Independents' Trophy the hopes of the local fans to see Darryl O'Young to clinch the title vanished when the Hong Kong racer was eliminated by Tom Coronel during the first race. When Kristian Poulsen, who had won Race 1, made a mistake and crashed in the second race, Proteam Motorsport's Sergio Hernandez knew he had won the title. Then he dropped all cautions to chase Franz Engstler and claim his fifth win of the year. The Italian outfit also clinched the Team's Trophy.
The championship is now facing the winter break. The 2011 season will kick off on March 20th in Brazil with the cars powered by the new 1.6-litre engines.