Excellent results for SEAT at the Italian racetrack of Imola. The ninth meeting of the Touring Car World Championship saw the Spanish make achieving their eighth victory of the season, strengthening Yvan Muller’s leadership in the drivers’ championship and increasing their advantage in the manufacturers’ championship by ten points.
The aim of the SEAT Sport team was keeping and increasing the leadership in both standings, and both aims have been achieved in a brilliant manner, as the work of the weekend started taking shape yesterday (Saturday) with Rickard Rydell clinching the pole position after an excellent teamwork of all of the drivers during the qualifying session.
In the first race Rydell and Muller, who went into the race from the front row, took the control of the race from the moment the lights went green and they did not leave the leadership until the finish, achieving a new victory for SEAT, the second for Muller and further one-two finish. The both set a strong pace and were able to drive rather calmly. Gabriele Tarquini finished fifth and further in the back, Monteiro was thirteenth and Gené seventeenth after having trouble with several incidents with other drivers that hindered them from improving positions.
Gabriele Tarquini started the second race from the second row of the grid, but a problem during the start made his car stall. Porteiro crashed against him, forcing the safety car to be deployed to neutralise the race during four laps. Gabriele left the car by himself but was taken to the medical centre of the circuit as a precautionary measure, where they stated that he had not sustained any injury.
After the safety car intervention, with Muller 6th and Rydell 8th, the aim of the SEAT drivers was recovering positions, and they did, after overtaking Farfus. Further in the front, Thompson was leading the race ahead of Jorg Muller, Robert Huff and Nicola Larini. The positions remained unchanged until the finish, and although Muller has been very close to the second Chevrolet some times, it was too risky to overtake. He finished fifth ahead of Rydell, while Monteiro and Gené were out of the points.
Yvan Muller: “Very good weekend. I arrived with an advantage of two points in the championship and I’m leaving with twelve. It could have been even better, but we must be happy, since after loosing points against BMW in the latest races, we now managed to increase the difference. The team has made a magnificent job”.
Rickard Rydell: “I’m very happy because I scored eleven points and clinched the pole position after a magnificent teamwork. Everybody has been brilliant, and the one-two of the first race was excellent. Then we’ve defended our options and I think that it’s been a great weekend for all of us”.
The next meeting of the championship will be held in Monza on October 5.