In the second race of the day at Motorland Aragón, Yann Ehrlacher became the youngest ever World Touring Car champion; the first driver to achieve such a feat while still in his twenties.
In truth, the 2020 season had been a masterclass by the Frenchman and his Cyan Racing team, ending the season as utterly deserving champions.
That said, the likes of Münnich Motorsport put the pressure on until the very last day, so it was only once the title had been secured in race two that Ehrlacher could truly enjoy himself behind the wheel.
With the pressure off, Ehrlacher revealed that his second place finish in race three was one of the most pleasurable results of his career.
“It was a really good race,” he said. “When you’ve got the title and you go for the race you don’t have any pressure of taking points, it’s absolutely amazing – maybe the best race of my life because it was just about enjoying the moment, enjoying the fact that we won the title, both teams’ and drivers’. It was max pleasure.
“But still I was in a position that I could reward my team-mates for their really good help during the whole season, so I was ready to do anything to help them as much as I could, to give them positions.
“Cyan Racing helped me a lot and my team-mates helped me a lot to get the trophy and without them it would not have been possible. So in this race if I could have helped them I would have done it with max pleasure.
“We finished P2, I was waiting for a call maybe to help Yvan grab some positions in the championship as well because it was really tight. So I am happy we did P1 and P2 in the championship, we did it in the races too. To get that and the teams’ title is just amazing.”
Ehrlacher comes from a family of elite sportsmen and women. Of course, much has been made of the fact that he is his team-mate Yvan Muller’s nephew, but his mum Cathy Muller was also a racer too don’t forget, competing in events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy Lights Series, as well as Formula 3000.
Ehrlacher’s Dad was also an athlete, though admittedly not within the realm of motorsport. Instead, Yves Ehrlacher was a footballer who played for top flight French clubs such as RC Strasbourg and Lens.
Clearly then, sporting prowess runs in the family genes, and after winning his first world championship, Ehrlacher was proud to be able to compare his own achievements to those of his elders.
“It’s absolutely insane, as I always say it’s a dream come true.” said an emotional Ehrlacher immediately after race two. “I started racing really late and that [being world champion] was definitely the goal since I was young.
“I remember when I was a child going into the city when Yvan [Muller] was winning all his titles, and now it’s me and I’m super proud and super happy.
“It’s never easy to get something like this when the field is at such a high level, so you have to work every day harder and harder to get this done and now it’s in our hands and I’m so proud.”
After taking the time to celebrate with the rest of the Cyan Racing crew, Ehrlacher was also keen to sing their praises, as well as his own efforts, in the later press conference.
“It [winning the title] means a lot. I was emotional because I was just remembering from where we started and when we started, which was quite close to now.
“I was remembering when I was a little child coming to see the races for Yvan with my mum and dad in WTCC, I knew almost all the paddock already. They knew me from when I was like this. And now I have been here, fighting and winning the title, it’s a lot of emotion.
“My full life is about this and I say, every day since I started racing was dedicated to motorsport and every single energy I put was for motorsport. It’s just a big reward that today motorsport gives to me. I’m just super-proud of what we did.
“To win a title like this there are a lot of things you have to put together. From being the car to the track to having a good set-up to make good races, to do every corner perfectly… A lot things can happen in sixteen races, it’s such a long way when you start the championship it feels the title is so, so far, and we were leading from the first ‘quali’ to the end. I’m just super-proud of that.
“I had no technical issues this year, from the first qualifying to now and that means a lot about what happens at the workshop in Sweden and what the guys are doing at the weekend. It’s absolutely insane and hats off to this because everything is really well managed, and we showed that today and everyone saw it.”