Kia and Muller make it three from three on ice
February 1, 2006 Yvan Muller and his Kia Rio took sufficient points in the final competitive round of the Andros Trophy in the French Alps to make it three out of three championship wins in successive years. The domination of France’s pre-eminent motorsport championship by Muller and the Rio was complete – despite Muller carrying more weight-penalty ballast as the twice-previous championship winner – and Muller comprehensively saw off last minute challenges from former F1 Grand Prix World Champion Alain Prost in a Toyota, Jean-Phillipe Dayraut in a BMW and Franck Lagorce in a Fiat.
The Kia team wrapped up the title with a tactical performance in Super-Besse, high in the Alps, recording solid placings in both races that were sufficient to secure enough points for Muller to win his tenth ice racing title.
The yet-again champion said: "It was the hardest ice racing season in my career, and surely the most beautiful victory, even if I had to play a game I’m not used to.
"During the last three seasons, the team proved we could beat everybody, dominating in 2004 and 2005, or playing tactics and nerve breaking games this season, added Muller.
"In racing we are used to hearing about ‘fastest times’ but this year, even with 490 kilos of ballast we had our ‘fastest’ time," commented Paul Bourion, Kmotorsport team principal.
"We did three seasons with the Kia Rio and we won three championships, thanks to Yvan, this year and in 2005 we also won the constructor’s championship. And we are very proud of that record," he added.
Muller and the Kmotorsport team now go to Paris and the Stade de France for the final event of the season – a non-championship round on a specially created ice-track at the country’s national stadium on 18 March.