For the third consecutive year Japanese Gods sent the rain to soak the WTCC races at Okayama. In spite of this, local fans did not miss the last appearance of the World Championship before it moves to Suzuka from next year and a crowd of 31,000 attended over the weekend.
After a Saturday that was clearly in favour of BMW, the rainy Sunday smiled to Yvan Muller. In extremely difficult conditions the Chevrolet driver kept a cool head and collected two third places that are worth their weight in gold. Especially as his two rivals in the title fight. committed hara-kiri.
After a brilliant second place in the first race, Andy Priaulx spun off and retired in the early stages of Race 2. A few laps later Gabriele Tarquini lost control and crashed from the lead.
The Italian, reigning world champion, has been cut out of the fight, while Priaulx now has a 37-point gap with 50 still to be awarded.
In the Manufacturers‘ Championship, Chevrolet is only 14 points shy from securing the title.
Rob Huff and Augusto Farfus shared victories today. The Briton pushed beyond the limits in the first race to get past the BMW cars of Farfus and Priaulx, while the Brazilian managed to stay on the track in the final laps of the second race after forcing Tarquini to make the fatal mistake.
The championship will resume for the season finale (rounds 21 and 22) at Macau, on November 21 where the Rookie Challenge and the Independents‘ Trophy will also elect their champions.
RESULTS REMAIN SUSPENDED
The results of today’s races remain suspending pending the intention of Chevrolet to appeal against the Steward decisions n. 1 and 2 that authorized the BMW cars of Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus to use a 6-speed sequential gearbox.