The SEAT Sport drivers have achieved three podium finishes in Marrakech at the third meeting of the FIA World Touring Car Championship staged today in the Moroccan city. Gabriele Tarquini and Jordi Gené finished second and third in the first race, while Yvan Muller took the second position in the second race, thus strengthening the leadership both of SEAT and their drivers in the overall standings of both championships.
Robert Huff’s Chevrolet asserted his pole position from the start to take the lead ahead of Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Jordi Gené. An accident in the first turn left Rickard Rydell out of the race, after his car lost a suspension, thus making it impossible to be repaired on time for the second race.
Huff stood up to the pressure of the SEAT drivers throughout the race, although Tarquini did not take any risk with an overtaking manoeuvre in a circuit which offers little chances to do so, settling for second. Behind him Gené passed Yvan Muller two laps before the end, whilst Tiago Monteiro finished right behind the Frenchman, rounding off an excellent group result.
Yvan Muller was definitely the protagonist, moving up from fifth to second, after a close fight with Huff and Jorg Müller (BMW). The SEAT Sport driver placed himself second behind Nicola Larini and stood up to the attacks of his rivals until the chequered flag.
Behind the group were Gabriele Tarquini, who finished fifth and Tiago Monteiro who was seventh, thus scoring more points for the championship. Jordi Gené was not able to take the start of the race after having transmission problems during the formation lap.
Local driver, Mehdi Bennani, at the wheel of a SEAT León WTCC of the Exagon Team, had an excellent performance, winning the classification of Independent drivers of the first race after finishing ninth overall.
The next round of the championship will be staged on the French racetrack of Pau on 16th and 17th May.
The SEAT drivers were happy in general terms with the results of the weekend. Yvan Muller stated: ‘I still have a good advantage in the standings, but it is a long championship and we have to wait’. Gabriele Tarquini added: ‘You cannot always win, but our aim is to score in every race, and that’s what we’re doing’. Jordi Gené confirmed: ‘It will be a very close fight, more than last year and I share the opinion of my team-mates: scoring will always be the key to success’.
1. R.Huff (Chevrolet)
2. G.Tarquini (SEAT León TDI), +1’729
3. J.Gené (SEAT León TDI), + 52583
4. Y.Muller (SEAT León TDI), + 7’044
5. T. Monteiro (SEAT León TDI), 7’410
12. R.Rydell (SEAT León TDI), Ab.
1. N.Larini (Chevrolet)
2. Y.Muller (SEAT León TDI), 1’399
5. G.Tarquini (SEAT León TDI) + 3’068
7. T,Monteiro (SEAT León TDI), + 4’907
NS. J.Gené (SEAT León TDI)
NS. R.Rydell (SEAT León TDI)
1st Y.Muller, 43
2nd G.Tarquini, 31
3rd R.Rydell, 30
4th J.Gené, 24
5th A.Farfus, 23
6th R.Huff, 16
7th A.Priaulx, 16
8th N.Larini, 14
9th J.Muller, 14
10th S.Hernández, 7
1st SEAT, 93
2nd BMW, 64
3rd Chevrolet, 51
4th Lada, 24