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Muller thrilled with historic title
23 September 2013
Yvan Muller admitted he was delighted to secure a place in World Touring Car Championship history after wrapping up his fourth title at Suzuka.
The RML driver went into the weekend with one hand already on the championship crown, as he looked to try and reclaim the title he lost last year.
Qualifying fourth at the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze, Muller was able to make up a place on the opening lap to run third behind Norbert Michelisz and Alex MacDowall.
Keeping the place through to the flag, Muller was able to pick up the points he needed to lift the championship crown, especially with closest rival Gabriele Tarquini being forced into retirement.
It meant that Muller's own retirement from race two following a clash with Michelisz on the run to turn one counted for little as he moved clear of Andy Priaulx on the list of title winners.
“This is probably the title I am most proud of,” he said. “The conditions behind this year were very different to my other three.
“A month before Monza we didn't even know if we could make the grid this year, we didn't have a manufacturer to support the project, which makes things very difficult. But with huge effort from RML, myself and our partners, we managed to get things in place and have built a successful programme.”
The Frenchman added that, despite the knowledge and expertise of his team, the loss of factory backing from Chevrolet had made things tough.
“It has meant we haven't been able to develop the car since last year and we had very limited running before the start of the year,” he said. “So for Tom [Chilton], as an example, he has had to learn the car at the races. Of course I have been with the team for four years now so I have good knowledge of the Cruze. But with Honda and LADA coming in as works outfits, we were going into this year a little on the back foot.
“This season has been perfect so far, but it is definitely not over yet for me! We are still fighting for the teams' trophy, which perhaps we can settle as early as Shanghai and Tom is targeting second in the drivers' standings - we all want to end with an RML 1-2 so we'll keep working together to do our best, for ourselves, for RML and all our partners and sponsors who have been a huge support throughout.”
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