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Muller collects WTCC title trophy
7 December 2013
Yvan Muller was officially crowned the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Champion on Friday evening at the FIA's prize-giving gala in Paris.
Muller, who had previously taken the title in 2008, 2010 and 2011, dominated this year claiming seven race victories at the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze run by the RML team. He secured the title in Suzuka, with two events in hand.
“This title has a special taste because before the beginning of the season I did not have a drive,” Muller explained. “The programme was finalised only one month before Monza. It was already a victory to actually be on the grid.
“And then it was difficult because we had to manage to be competitive on a lower budget, which created a lot of problems such as a significant reduction in testing time, for example. But eventually we have been champions again, and without the backing of a manufacturer,” added the Frenchman, who will defend the title in 2014 driving for newcomer Citroen Racing and with a new team-mate, nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb.
“I'm looking forward to it [next year],” he continued. “This is the first time I work with a French manufacturer. It's a great challenge as Citroen has a lot of experience in rally, but not at all in racing. I have to give them as much experience I can.
“It's a lot of responsibility, because at least at the beginning they will rely on me - all the team, and Sebastien too. But he is a fantastic champion and I am sure he will be a very quick learner.”
Honda meanwhile was crowned the WTCC Manufacturers' champion - its first World title since its F1 triumphs between 1988 to 1991.
William de Braekeleer, motorsport manager for Honda Motor Europe, said: “This World Championship honour for Honda represents a great reward for everyone who worked so hard on this programme, whether at the tracks or at home in Japan, Italy and Hungary.
“Thanks to the continuous dedication and expertise of the people at JAS Motorsport, Zengö Motorsport, Mugen and Honda R&D, not to mention the talent of Gabriele Tarquini, Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz, we achieved four victories and sixteen other podium results; something that gives you a real sense of pride for a first year in WTCC.
"And obviously our aim is now to do even better in 2014.”