The FIA has officially awarded Yvan Muller his third World Touring Car Championship trophy at last night’s FIA Gala Awards in New Delhi.
Driving for the works RML Chevrolet squad, the Frenchman overcame a slow start to his season to claim the championship title by just three points from team-mate Robert Huff.
He claimed eight victories and nineteen podiums in the year’s 24 races in a year that has cemented the Frenchman as the series’ most consistent performer: in the last five years, Muller has never finished outside the top-two in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
“Together with my engineer, we worked a lot and eventually got our bearings,” Muller told the VIP audience when accepting his silverware.
“From the fourth event at Budapest I was consistently on top in qualifying and the races. I am not especially keen on thinking of records, but I admit that this was a record season in terms of results. What more should I ask for? My third title, the second in a row for Chevrolet. A great year!”
Muller led a team 1-2-3 in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with Huff finishing second (having also claimed eight wins) and Alain Menu finishing third.
Chevrolet Motorsport Director Eric Nève was also on-hand to collect the Manufacturers’ Trophy for the team, which claimed every single qualifying pole position in 2011, as well as winning 21 of the year’s 24 races.
“We are very happy to win the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships for the second consecutive year,” he said.
“The team worked very hard to achieve it and the key to our success was to start testing so early with the new 1.6-litre turbo engine. This gave us the edge at the beginning of the season and we were able to create a gap that proved crucial when our competitors improved in the later races.
“It is also very rewarding to see our three drivers filling the Championship podium. They are among the best touring car racers worldwide and we have to thank them for the great professional job they have done. It was a record season for us, testament to the hard work we have done in the last seven years since we joined WTCC [in 2005].”
[Images via FIA WTCC Media, LAT, Motorsport Total]
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