Tarquini And SEAT Crowned at Gala
The FIA officially crowned Gabriele Tarquini as the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Champion at its gala awards event in Monaco.
It was a fitting finish to another exciting season, where 47-year old Tarquini claimed victory at the final race, becoming the oldest FIA World Champion in the history of the sport. His victory also helped SEAT to win their second consecutive manufacturers championship with a three-point margin from BMW.
One year after finishing runner-up to his SEAT Sport team-mate Yvan Muller, Tarquini clinched the title with a second and a fifth place at Macau. Muller had to settle for second position, only four points behind, while BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus, who set a new record for the series by winning six races during the season, was classified third.
Gabriele Tarquini said:
"After losing the 2008 title to Yvan at the last race, my target this year was to win. Especially because I felt that this could have been my last opportunity to become world champion. I am not young anymore and I am not sure I will find myself again in the position to fight for a world title.
"In Macau I started with two crashes. The second one sent me to the hospital during qualifying and when my engineer sent me a text saying 'recover, because we will repair the car' I thought he was lying just to make me feel better. But they did and actually rebuilt it better than it was before the crash. A big slice of this title belongs to the team."
Tarquini collected three race wins against Muller's four and Farfus' six, but he emerged as the most consistent driver (scoring points in 22 races out of 24) and the fastest (claiming five pole positions).
SEAT Sport Director Jaime Puig, who collected the manufacturers' trophy, said:
"Winning two championships for the second year was the reward for a fantastic season and I want to thank the whole team for their effort, their great capacity for work and their solidarity. The 2009 season has shown again that SEAT Sport is a team in which everybody works for everybody. "