Rickard Rydell admitted he was surprised to see SEAT beat BMW in the penultimate rounds of the World Touring Car Championship after the Spanish marquee secured both titles at Okayama.
Rydell's victory in the opening race ensured SEAT will lift the manufacturers' title for the first time, while the drivers' title will go to either Yvan Muller or Gabriele Tarquini in Macau – marking the first time that rivals BMW will end the season empty handed.
Rydell, who spent time in Japan earlier in his career, was able to battle his way to the front in race one to secure his second win of the year ahead of Jorg Muller and while he was unable to score in race two after a wrong gamble on tyres, he was pleased with how the weekend had panned out.
“It is very nice to win after being here for three years with Formula 3,” he said. “After I had thought about that my thoughts went to the title, and how fantastic it is that we were able to take the manufacturers' title here.
“It is so nice to finish today already as champions, and after Tom's (Coronel) win it proves we have the best car whether it had petrol or diesel in it! I like racing in these conditions, and the team did a great job changing the car between the warm up and the race.
“I was very surprised that we were able to beat BMW as they have been so fast all weekend.”