SEAT Sport took a significant step towards winning their first World Touring Car Championship title with a double 1-2 finish in the latest round at Monza.
Aided by the superior straight-line pace of their diesel-fuelled Leon TDI, SEAT were tough to beat around Monza's high-speed layout, with Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini sharing the spoils, while Tiago Monteio and Jordi Gene added points to their tally too.
It all means SEAT is teetering on the edge on both the driver and team titles with only two rounds remaining in Japan and Macau.
Muller continues to lead the way on 96 points, while team-mate Tarquini is his closest rival just nine points adrift. However, more significantly for the Spanish manufacturer, of the five drivers that can now win the title, three of them are SEAT drivers.
Rob Huff leads the opposition in third place, but he is 21 points behind Muller meaning the Frenchman needs to win just one more race this season to ensure the title goes his way. Three-time champion Priaulx, meanwhile, is almost certain to lose his crown now he is 24 points behind Muller with 40 up for grabs.
"The most important and really decisive thing is the work done for the make,” Muller said. “Moreover, I'm extremely happy because I'm still leading the championship after a victory and a fourth position.”
Muller's hopes of securing the title for himself have been aided by the ruling that Tarquini will start ten positions lower than where he qualifies at Okayama after being judged to have gained an advantage cutting a corner at Monza. Nonetheless, like Muller, his biggest priority remains winning the title for SEAT.
"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.”