Okayama: Seat Sport weekend and championship summary

SEAT: World Touring Car Champion SEAT achieves the overall victory in the FIA World Championship for the first time and the first world title of a diesel-engined car in the history of motor sports. SEAT does also secure the Drivers' world...

SEAT: World Touring Car Champion

SEAT achieves the overall victory in the FIA World Championship for the first time and the first world title of a diesel-engined car in the history of motor sports.

SEAT does also secure the Drivers' world title since two of their drivers, Muller and Tarquini, will be fighting for the World Championship in Macau.

The victories achieved today in Japan with two different car models, the petrol WTCC and TDI WTCC, were the key for the final triumph.

As the final highlight of an excellent season, SEAT has become 2008 World Touring Car Champion today, at the Japanese racetrack of Okayama.

SEAT's triumph in the manufacturers' standings, is moreover the fulfilment of a pending subject for Spanish motor sports, since an award like this had never been attained before. The Spanish make has mathematically secured the manufacturers' and drivers' title, since only two drivers of SEAT, Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, have chances to become world champions in the last race to be held in Macau on 16th November.

The Spanish make, which takes part in the championship with a team of five official drivers, Jordi Gene (Spain), Tiago Monteiro (Portugal), Yvan Muller (France), Rickard Rydell (Sweden) and Gabriele Tarquini (Italy), has counted on the Leon TDI WTCC, the best car of the championship that has been able to clinch 11 victories so far.

The penultimate round of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) staged today on the Japanese racetrack, allowed SEAT to achieve the necessary points to secure the title mathematically, with excellent wins in both races that proved their technological ability. Rickard Rydell won the first race on the Okayama racetrack at the wheel of the Leon TDI WTCC and Tom Coronel succeeded in the second race with the petrol-engined Leon WTCC.

The finishing touch of this fantastic season for SEAT will take place on the urban racetrack of Macau on 16th November with the proclamation of the name of the driver to become Drivers' World Champion.

Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport Director: "The excellent teamwork of all people working at SEAT Sport, both those making up the race team, as well as all those who support us from Martorell, has been the key for this success. I want to say a big thank you to all of them, because it was their working capacity and their team spirit that has allowed us to achieve such an significant success".

An impeccable season

This result is a fair award for the efforts made by SEAT, who last year staked on the diesel technology starting from mid-season. It was a huge technical and human challenge which was just about to bear fruit, since they took the runner-up positions in both standings, drivers and manufacturers. The development work continued without a break in winter, allowing SEAT to start the season in a spectacular way, with four consecutive wins in Brazil and Mexico, with the victories of Muller, Tarquini, Gene and Monteiro.

From that moment, things became difficult for the team, since the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) decided to grant several aids by means of weight reductions to the rival teams, which made work even more complicated for technicians and drivers.

It was then, however, when the team took on and overcame the challenge of making the heaviest car on the grid become the fastest, and after two meetings without a win, Gabriele Tarquini grabbed the victory in Brno and Rickard Rydell and Tiago Monteiro in Estoril. SEAT continued dominating the manufacturers' overall standings and Rydell, Muller and Tarquini took turns on the top of the drivers' standings, thanks also to the valuable teamwork made by Monteiro and Gene.

Brands Hatch and Oschersleben were two races on the defensive, in which the rivals were able to shorten the gap, but the reaction capacity of the team became evident anew at the both Italian events. Yvan Muller took a win in Imola, and in Monza it was again Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, including a one-two finish by Rydell and Gene, who made another step towards the final objective which was achieved today in Japan, meaning an unprecedented success for SEAT and Spanish sports.

-credit: seat

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Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Jaime Puig