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Tarquini, Muller cleared to race
21 November 2009
Championship rivals Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller have been cleared to race in the final rounds of the World Touring Car Championship in Macau following their accident during qualifying.
The SEAT pair, who are split by three points in the race for the title, were taken to hospital for checks following an accident in the second phase of qualifying, where Tarquini collided with Muller's stationary car after the Frenchman had gone into the wall.
Work has taken part through the night to prepare both cars for race day and the two drivers have now been passed fit to compete after undergoing tests with the FIA medical team.
"Physically I feel a bit stiff but fortunately we have had one day to recover so I hope that tomorrow I wake up a little bit better than now,” current points leader Tarquini said. “I was optimistic for another pole but ended up in the hospital so you know never know.
“I couldn't have avoided the accident. It was the track conditions and Yvan stopped just after the cloud of cement dust and I couldn't avoid him. I was on full throttle and hit him at 130kph. The car was destroyed so I thought it was impossible to make the races but the mechanics said not to worry and they repaired it."
Muller meanwhile said he was also feeling some discomfort following the accident but was keen to try and secure a second straight title.
"I am able to race,” he said. “I feel well but for some muscular pains. I fold but I don't break. There was doubt about my car but the team did a fantastic job. It was a lot of hours of work but they did it. I'm a bit disappointed because my lap time before the crash was fast but probably too fast! Macau is impossible to predict so I don't like to guess what might happen tomorrow. I don't like to gamble!"
Tarquini will have a new engine following the incident, but will not face a grid penalty with regulations allowing a change following a major accident.
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