WTCR ace Muller: My book was open to Yann, now he’s better than me
Yvan Muller has told readers of Motorsport News, the British weekly newspaper, that Yann Ehrlacher, his nephew and the reigning King of WTCR, is now a better driver than him.
Muller is the most successful driver in FIA World Touring Car Championship history with more titles (four), race wins (48), pole positions (29) and fastest laps (38) than any of his rivals. And since the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup took over as its more accessible replacement in 2018, Muller’s record has been no less impressive.
From 76 WTCR starts, the French legend has notched up eight wins, three poles and two fastest laps against hugely strong opposition. And he’s finished in the title top three in each of the three WTCR seasons run so far, including in 2020 when he was runner-up to his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co team-mate in an identical, Goodyear-equipped, Lynk & Co 03 TCR.
Responding to questions put to him by readers of Motorsport News, the respected title first published in 1955, Muller also revealed the lengths he went to in order to fire Ehrlacher’s interest in racing, which was evident from an early age thanks to his mother Cathy – Muller’s sister – own successful career behind the wheel.
“When he was 16 and he was doing nothing at school, I asked him what his motivation was in life,” Yvan Muller explained. “He said he wanted to be a racing driver, so I asked him why he hadn’t spoken to his mother about it. He told me he tried but she didn’t want to listen. So, I told him that if he managed to improve his results in studying, I would buy him a karting season. And that worked.
“Then I said if he could get his results even better after that, I would pay for him to go car racing when he was old enough. And that worked too. Step by step we worked and seven years later, he is the [King of WTCR].
“For me that was a big victory. I was as pleased, or maybe more pleased, for Yann to win the title. Okay, I was second and that was like the cherry on the cake for me.
“I am pleased that he won, and I am proud that we work so well together and I would say he is better than me. My book was open to him, he could learn anything he wanted from me. I am older with experience, but he has the heart of a 25-year-old racing driver, which I don’t have any more.”
Ehrlacher’s WTCR title defence and Muller’s title bid begin on the Nürburgring Nordschleife from June 3-5.