Two victories bring SEAT closer to the World Championship
Two victories of Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, with one-two finishes by Tarquini in the first race and Jordi Gené in the second, have moved SEAT closer to the objectives set for the World Touring Car Championship. The meeting held today in Monza finished in the best possible way, with victories of the top two drivers of the standings and SEAT increasing their advantage in the manufacturers’ standings.
At the start of the first race, the SEAT drivers drove in formation, though not being able to open a gap to their rivals, especially Larini (Chevrolet), Farfus and Priaulx (BMW). This fight went on throughout the race and both Farfus, first, as well as Larini, in the penultimate lap, had breakdowns that left them out of the contest. Rydell was always on third, while Muller and Tarquini swapped positions in the lead.
Jordi Gené was pushed off the track in the first turn, but was able to rejoin the race, and together with Tiago Monteiro, performed a spectacular recovery. Monteiro finally managed to finish fifth, after overtaking the Chevrolets of Larini and Huff, while Gené finished behind them, scoring the last point at stake.
A penalty imposed on Rickard Rydell allowed Zanardi to start the second race from pole position, but in the second lap he was overtaken by Gené and later on by Tarquini. Further in the back, Yvan Muller sheltered himself in fourth position. A few laps later, both SEAT León TDI were pursued relentlessly by Larini’s Chevrolet, while Muller had a tough time with Menu.
Halfway the race Tarquini overtook Gené and both team-mates drove together until the finish, avoiding Larini’s attacks. Further in the back, Robert Huff and Andy Priaulx, the two main rivals in the drivers’ standings, went off track in successive laps, thus staying out of the points.
In the last laps, the Chevrolet drivers attacked the SEAT, but Tarquini and Gené managed to clinch the second one-two finish of the day for SEAT, with Muller finishing fourth, scoring valuable points for the championship. Tiago Monteiro completed a great day for SEAT finishing sixth, while Rydell managed to move up to the ninth position.
Statements of the SEAT Sport drivers
Rickard Rydell: ‘It hasn’t been a good weekend for me, although it’s been profitable for the team. After an excellent qualifying and a very good first race I still don’t understand why I’ve been penalised. It set me back a lot and I had no chances in the second race’.
Jordi Gené: ‘My weekend has been very positive. I was very fast in the free practice sessions and made a good job in qualifying. I set aside my personal performance a bit in the first race to achieve a good result for the make. In the second I was able to be myself achieving a great result. Moreover, we scored a lot of points for SEAT in the championship. Everything has been perfect’.
Gabriele Tarquini: ‘It’s been fantastic to score so many points and to achieve two one-two finishes for SEAT. It’s been a dream come true because we knew that Monza could be a favourable race, but not that much. This weekend has been simply perfect’.
Yvan Muller: ‘The most important and really decisive thing is the work done for the make. Moreover, I’m extremely happy because I’m still leading the championship after a victory and a fourth position’.
Tiago Monteiro: ‘It’s been frustrating because I was with my team-mates in qualifying, but a Japanese driver pushed me off the track. Everything could have been better in the races because I could have scored more points and achieved better positions, especially in the second race. But anyway, things are now perfect for us’.
1. Y. Muller (SEAT León TDI)
2. G. Tarquini (SEAT León TDI) +0’277
3. A. Priaulx (BMW) + 1’710
4. T.Monteiro (SEAT León TDI) +3’699
5. N.Larini (Chevrolet) + 8’111
6. R.Huff (Chevrolet) + 8’206
7. J.Gené (SEAT León TDI) + 8’434
11. T.Coronel (SEAT León WTCC) + 14’396
13. P.Y.Corthals (SEAT León WTCC) + 21’114
DNF F. da Costa (SEAT León WTCC)
1.G.Tarquini (SEAT León TDI)
2. J.Gené (SEAT León TDI) + 0’316
3. N.Larini (Chevrolet) + 0’646
4. Y.Muller (SEAT León TDI) + 2’780
5. A.Menu (Cevrolet) + 3’056
6. T.Monteiro (SEAT León TDI) + 8’231
9. R.Rydell (SEAT León TDI) + +12’639
20. F. da Costa (SEAT León WTCC) + 43’753
DNF T.Coronel (SEAT León WTCC)
DNF P.Y.Corthals (SEAT León WTCC)
OVERALL STANDINGS DRIVERS
1. Y.Muller, 95 p.
2. G.Tarquini, 86 p.
3. R.Huff, 64 p.
4. R.Rydell, 62 p.
5. A.Priaulx, 61 p.
6. J.Gené, 53 p.
12. T.Monteiro, 37 p.
OVERALL STANDINGS MANUFACTURERS
1. SEAT 277 p.
2. BMW, 223 p.
3. Chevrolet, 197 p.
4. Honda 46 p.
Next race: Okayama (Japan), 26th October