Michelisz grabs 1st place in Suzuka while 3rd placer Muller is proclaimed WTCC champion
Ivan Muller grabbed his 4th WTCC championship at Suzuka, Japan last weekend. His title came in after Muller finished 3rd in Race 1 after attempts of overtaking the race leader Norbert Michelisz. This was also the fifth consecutive Drivers’ Championship won by the Chevrolet cars run by the RML group.
Norbert Michelisz had his first win for Honda in the Japanese manufacturer’s home country. At the beginning of the race, Michelisz sprinted away to take the lead from the pole position. MacDowall followed in 2nd, while Monteiro overtook Muller for 3rd. Monteiro then proceeded to overtake MacDowall but was unsuccessful. By lap 3, Tarquini and Oriola had a close match fighting for 5th place. By lap 19, Tarquini lost 5th place because of a puncture. Having secured his position from overtake attempts by Muller and Chilton, MacDowall was able to finish 2nd following winner Michelisz. With the win, Tarquini and Monteiro may be able to boost Honda’s result. Despite being in 3rd place in race 1, Muller was able to clinch the championship title.
“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 program together without the backing of a manufacturer. Budget was low and we had to take care of everything. The whole team did a lot of sacrifices. But now we have the pay back for this. And I must thank RML and Lukoil for giving me the opportunity to clinch another world title,” said Muller.
For the next season, Yvan Muller will represent Citroen and join driver Sebastien Loeb with Muller carrying 4 WTCC titles and Loeb with 9 in WRC make 13.