Stories of the first WTCR year: Tarquini wins world title in Macau
While Esteban Guerrieri and Frédéric Vervisch joined Jean-Karl Vernay as WTCR Race of Macau winners, it was Gabriele Tarquini who had the biggest cause for celebration by claiming the inaugural WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO by a slender three points.
Piloting a Hyundai i30 N TCR for BRC Racing Team on Yokohama tyres, Tarquini won the first event of the year in Morocco and was firmly in the title fight thereafter.
Despite a troubled Second Qualifying in Macau leaving him outside of the top 10 for Sunday’s deciding races, Tarquini did just enough with a P10 finish in Race 3 to hand him the title spoils ahead of Yvan Muller.
“I have the memory nine years I was thinking to stop racing because what do you want to achieve more than a world title?” said Tarquini, 56. “It’s probably the best time to stop, but I was thinking ‘why should I stop, I want to race. I have the adrenaline, I am not very slow, I can compete again.’ And I decided, because SEAT stopped, to start again with a private team in 2010, 2011, 2012 and then I was back in a Honda team. So I didn’t stop and this has been the greatest season. And I must also thank Hyundai for choosing me in the beginning, all the team, the mechanics and my team-mate. And I also want to congratulate Yvan, who made a great job through the season. He was my toughest opponent.”
Ex-Formula One driver Tarquini, who claimed the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2009, scored five wins, two poles, five fastest laps and led 73 race laps during the season.