Yvan Muller, Touring Car World Champion with SEAT
* Yvan Muller clinches his first world title at the wheel of the SEAT Leon
* SEAT closes the season in Macau with two world titles, 12 victories and 19 podium finishes.
* Gabriele Tarquini, runner-up of the world championship with at SEAT Leon TDI WTCC
Yvan Muller, at the wheel of a SEAT Leon TDI WTCC, was crowned Touring Car Champion in Macau today. The French driver took three victories and a further five podium finishes along the season, which he finished with the first FIA World title achieved by a Frenchman in circuit racing since 1993.
SEAT closed the season in the best possible way, with the second world title in 2008 through Yvan Muller, and the runner-up position of Gabriele Tarquini. The urban racetrack of Macau was the venue of the last meeting of the year. Muller was third in the first race with Jordi Gene and Gabriele Tarquini finishing sixth and seventh. The second race was quite eventful, as a cause of which Jordi Gene was forced to quit, and later Gabriele Tarquini, while he was having victory at reach. Yvan Muller closed the season with a second position, with Rickard Rydell fourth after managing to move up from the back of the grid.
Yvan Muller: "One year later, I've been finally been able to clinch the title in Macau. Defeats are remembered for a long time and victories are quickly forgotten. However, I think that I'll remember this day for a long time. To win the championship you must be a consistent driver, but you must also have a team that will offer you the chance to fight for it. I want to say thank you to all my team-mates and the whole SEAT team, because we have always worked close together, collaborating to the maximum and always progressing. This is why we have been able to win".
Gabriele Tarquini: "My title chances were small because I arrived here far behind Yvan Muller in the overall standings. However, I fought until the end against a great rival and an excellent team-mate who has made a great season."
Frank Bekemeier, SEAT Vice president for R&D: "I'm very proud for the job done by SEAT Sport. With their success, SEAT not only achieved brilliant sports results. The triumph of the TDI engine, which is also the most environment-friendly car, has been a demonstration of the constant innovation of our make, which has allowed us to make history in competition taking the first world title for a diesel engine."
Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport Director: "I want to thank the whole team for the excellent job done throughout the year. Their persistence and dedication has allowed us to achieve all our aims. I also want to thank the SEAT Executive Committee for their permanent support, because this victory is the victory of the whole SEAT family, workers and commercial network. I also want to highlight the support we have always received from the Volkswagen Group."