Seat Cars have secured both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles in the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship after Rickard Rydell won round 21 of the series at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan at the wheel of the Seat Leon TDI.
This is Seat's first overall title in the WTCC and signifies the first time a diesel racecar has triumphed not only in the WTCC, but in any FIA championship. In addition, it ends BMW's long run of success in the series.
The Leon TDI has won 11 of the 22 races so far, with rounds 23 and 24 still left to go in Macau on 15/16 November. In comparison, BMW has taken six victories, Chevrolet three and Honda one.
The Drivers' title is also certain to go to Seat, as the only two championship contenders left are Yvan Muller (France) and Gabriele Tarquini (Italy) - both members of the Seat Sport team.
Five official Seat drivers have contested the WTCC in 2008, all of which have won races this season - the other three are Jordi Gen (Spain), Tiago Monteiro (Portugal) and Rickard Rydell (Sweden). In addition, Tom Coronel (Netherlands) enjoyed notable success in his gasoline-engined Sunred Team Leon - indeed, he snatched his maiden WTCC victory in the second race in Japan.
Located in the remote mountainous forest region of the Okayama Prefecture, near the city of Mimosaka, this was the first time Japan hosted a round of the WTCC. The tight and twisty 2.3-mile, 12-corner track was previously a setting for the Pacific F1 Grand Prix.