Michelisz and Coronel split the wins in Japan as Muller takes the title

Michelisz takes race one win while Muller earns the WTCC championship. In race two Coronel overtakes Bennani for the victory on the Suzuka circuit.

By finishing third in Suzuka’s Race 1, Yvan Muller was sacred FIA World Touring Car champion for an unprecedented fourth time.

This was also the fifth consecutive Drivers’ Championship won by the Chevrolet cars run by the RML Group.

“This has a special taste because one month before the beginning of the season I did not have a drive. Then we managed to put a programme together without the backing of a manufacturer," said Muller.

Norbert Michelisz, Honda Civic, Zengo Motorsport
Norbert Michelisz, Honda Civic, Zengo Motorsport

Photo by: XPB Images

Race 1 - Michelisz wins, Muller is champion

Norbert Michelisz converted his pole position into his first victory for Honda, giving the Japanese manufacturer a special triumph on its own playground.

Yvan Muller finished the race in third position, behind the Yokohama Trophy winner Alex MacDowall, and clinched his fourth WTCC title.

The first race at Suzuka was split in three parts: the early laps were full of action with close fights for the point position between several group of cars; halfway through the 26-lap distance drivers adopted a more conservative pace; the in the final laps the battle intensified again with plenty of contacts and overtaking.

And this cost Tarquini and Monteiro the possibility to make Honda’s result even greater.

Race 2 - Coronel beats Bennani

There is a special feeling between Tom Coronel and Japan. Every time the Dutchman visits the Country of the rising sun he gives his best.

Tom Coronel, BMW E90 320 TC, ROAL Motorsport
Tom Coronel, BMW E90 320 TC, ROAL Motorsport

Photo by: XPB Images

And this was proved again today in the second race, when Coronel managed to overtake a pugnacious Mehdi Bennani to claim his second victory of the season.

It was an unexpected one-two for BMW, with Bennani who won the Yokohama and was close once again to win his first race. Just like two weeks ago in Sonoma.

Third finished Tiago Monteiro, who partly salvaged what was a very tough weekend for Castrol Honda Racing that had high expectations for its home race meeting.

Charles Ng claimed his best result ever in WTCC, ranking seventh after a close, but fair fight with Rob Huff.

Penalty note:

Marc Basseng was stripped of the ninth placed he had claimed in the second race because of a 30-second time penalty.

Following an investigation on the German driver’s manoeuvre that enabled him to steal the position from James Thompson, the Stewards deemed him guilty of hitting the Briton’s car that dropped to 12th.

Drive-through penalties were also imposed to Pepe Oriola for an incident with Tiago Monteiro in the first race and to Mikhail Kozlovskiy and Oriola (again) for jumping the start in the second race.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Rob Huff , Mehdi Bennani , Marc Basseng , Norbert Michelisz , Alex MacDowall , Pepe Oriola , Charles Ng , Mikhail Kozlovskiy
Teams ROAL Motorsport , Zengo Motorsport
Article type Race report
Tags bmw, champion crowned, chevorlet, coronel, honda, lada, michelisz, muller, seat, suzuka, world touring cars, wtcc