The World Championship’s trademark based on paint-swapping and bumper-knocking was thoroughly honoured by all the drivers who did not recede from fighting hard for any possible positions.
In the first race Norbert Michelisz managed to get away from the scuffle and claimed a dominant lights-from-flag victory.
The first of the season for him and a special one for Honda on its home racetrack.
Behind Michelisz, Alex MacDowall rejected the assaults of Yvan Muller who was determined to celebrate in style his fourth Drivers’ Championship title.
The second race was enlivened by an-all BMW duel between Mehdi Bennani and Tom Coronel. Eventually the more experienced Dutchman got the better with a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre, while Tiago Monteiro gave Honda another podium result.
The championship will resume after a five-week break for rounds 21 and 22 that will take place at Shanghai, China on November 3.
FOURTH WTCC TITLE FOR YVAN MULLER
By finishing third in Suzuka’s Race 1, Yvan Muller was sacred FIA World Touring Car champion for an unprecedented fourth time. This was also the fifth consecutive Drivers’ Championship won by the Chevrolet cars run by the RML Group.
“This has a special taste because one month before the beginning of the season I did not have a drive. Then we managed to put a programme together without the backing of a manufacturer. Budget was low and we had to take care of everything. The whole team did a lot of sacrifices. But now we have the pay back for this. And I must thank RML and Lukoil for giving me the opportunity to clinch another world title,” said Muller, who will join Citroën and Sébastien Loeb in 2014. Four WTCC titles for Muller, nine for Loeb in WRC make 13.
“Maybe it’s a lucky number for Citroën and WTCC. The championship will be interesting, because if you add Tarquini and Huff you have a total of 15 FIA world title on the grid. We just need to call Andy Priaulx back…”
Muller had already won the WTCC title in 2008 for SEAT Sport, 2010 and 2011 for Chevrolet.