Yvan Muller Becomes WTCC Champion after FIA Decision

This year's World Touring Car Championship has found out its champion one weekend too early. And that was all because of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), whose last decision (taken by the International Court of Appeal) came to strip some title challengers of their earned points at Okayama.

To be more precise, Chevrolet's Yvan Muller has now become WTCC champion for the second time in career as a result of a successful team's appeal with the FIA. Following the two races at Okayama, Chevrolet had lodged an appeal to the FIA regarding BMW's illegal use of sequential gearboxes. It's worth mentioning that the race stewards in Japan considered BMW's 'boxes legal.

The ruling body responded positive to Chevy's appeal, meaning all the points scored by title chasers Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus in Japan will not count in the overall classification. Priaulx had scored a 2nd place in Okayama, while Farfus had won the second race, after finishing the first one in 4th place.

This decision leaves Muller all alone on top of the drivers' standings, 55 points clear of SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini and 61 points ahead of Priaulx. Meaning the season finale at Macau will count for basically nothing.

It is very strange,” argued Andy Priaulx when finding out about the ICA decision. “It doesn't normally happen like that - especially since we ran the gearbox since Brands Hatch in July, and we have been in constant discussion with the technical people as well. Obviously the stewards deemed it okay at the time, so it is very strange.”

BMW had initially introduced these types of gearboxes years back, in order to allow driver Alex Zanardi to benefit from hand controls inside the cockpit.
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