Tarquini: Age is no barrier
Gabriele Tarquini wrapped up the World Touring Car Championship last weekend at Macau, succeeding Juan Manuel Fangio as the oldest ever FIA World Champion.
Championship success also made the 47-year-old the first Italian since Teo Fabi (1981 World Sportscar) to win a world title.
Tarquini, a former British and European Touring Car titlist, secured the championship in his SEAT, dethroning team-mate Yvan Muller.
The Italian said that age was no boundary.
“Experience is a crucial factor to survive touring car tough racing,” he said.
“So the age is not so important. And I still feel young enough to be competitive.”
Consistency was a factor in Tarquini’s approach to the world title. He claimed only three victories against Augusto Farfus’ six and Muller’s four, but he scored points in 22 races out of 24.
“WTCC is such a competitive championship that you have to focus on scoring points,” he said.
“In the past, I paid dearly for scoreless races. So I changed my approach, focusing on qualifying (he took five pole positions this year) and then looking to convert the pole in a win or a podium position in Race 1.
“Finally I tried to score points in the second race. It worked, but to beat Yvan and Augusto I had to collect 127 points, which is a record … 13 more than Yvan’s last year’s score!”
Outgoing champ Muller finished second in title ahead of Farfus, Andy Priaulx and Robert Huff.