| ||HEAVY RAINFALL AT THE OKAYAMA RACETRACK|
Under extremely adverse weather conditions, SEAT contested the two races of the World Touring Car Championship staged today at the Japanese Okayama racetrack achieving the aims set and keeping the lead in the championship. The last meeting of the calendar, which will be held in Macau on November 22nd, will decide on the two world titles of the 2009 season.
Despite the layout, which is more favourable to rear-wheel drive cars, the SEAT Sport team was able to maintain all their options intact, especially as regards the drivers’ standings with Tarquini and Muller on the two top positions and the highest expectations for the last race of the year. Gabriele was not lucky today, while Yvan, with a consistent and efficient drive, as well as a podium finish in the second race, placed himself one step from the leadership.
After the race in Japan, Tarquini keeps the leadership in the drivers' standings with 115 points, two ahead of Muller who has 113. Third on the list is Augusto Farfus with 102 points. These three drivers will be fighting for the title in Macau. As regards the manufacturers’ standings, SEAT is still in the lead, but the advantage over BMW has been cut down to three points.
The bad conditions on the track due to the rain caused several incidents in both races which affected especially the SEAT drivers. In the first race, Tarquini, who was starting from pole, went off the track and was set back to eighth. Rickard Rydell who took over the lead, touched Jorg Muller and was forced to enter the pits and rejoin the race a couple of minutes later. Andy Priaulx took the lead then, followed by Jorg Muller, with Jordi Gené on third, although he finally finished sixth behind Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, who continued the race with especial care in order to score as many points as possible.
The incidents, with many more cars involved, continued during the second race behind an intense rain curtain. Monteiro who started from pole, was pushed off the track by Jorg Muller, while Tarquini was forced to go wide to avoid touching other drivers. Gabriele lost a large part of his options in this incident rejoining the track on seventeenth position but started a spectacular recovery which allowed him to finish seventh, thanks also to the good job made by Gené and Rydell.
Race 1: 1.A.Priaulx (BMW) 32:18.887. 2.J.Muller (BMW) + 0.484. 3.R.Huff (Chevrolet) + 2.552. 4.Y.Muller (SEAT) + 12.066. 5.G.Tarquini (SEAT) + 15.757. 6.J.Gené (SEAT) + 17.131. 7.T.Monteiro (SEAT) + 18.693. 8.A.Farfus (BMW) + 25.403. 9.A.Menú (Chevrolet) + 28.163. 25.R.Rydell (SEAT) 2 laps.
Race 2: 1.A.Farfus (BMW) 26:55.015. 2.A.Priaulx (BMW) + 0.761. 3.Y.Muller (SEAT) + 3.298. 4.A.Menú (Chevrolet) + 5.878. 5.N.Larini (Chevrolet) + 13.725. 6.R.Huff (Chevrolet) + 17.538. 7.G.Tarquini (SEAT) + 24.104. 8.R.Rydell (SEAT) + 26.212. 9.J.Gené (SEAT) + 27.272. DNF: T.Monteiro (SEAT).
World Touring Car Standings
Drivers: 1.Gabriele Tarquini, 115 points. 2.Yvan Muller, 113. 3.Augusto Farfus, 102. 4.Andy Priaulx, 84. 5.Robert Huff, 69. 6.Jorg Muller, 66. 7.Rickard Rydell, 64. 8.Jordi Gené, 39. 11.Tiago Monteiro, 36.
Manufacturers: 1.SEAT, 289 points. 2.BMW, 286. 3.Chevrolet, 192. 4.Lada, 84.