WELLINGBOROUGH (UK): Yvan Muller and Tom Chilton where in high spirits following successful completion of RML’s all to brief testing programme earlier this week at Snetterton and Brands Hatch [5th & 7th March].
That’s the first time I’ve sat in the car since Macau, but the news is I can still drive! The Cruze handles well and it’s great to be back behind the wheel. Despite limited running, we have a strong basis to work from and I hope we will keep some of that advantage.”
For team-mate Chilton the testing programme was very much focussed on adapting to his new surroundings with initial work at Snetterton targeting familiarisation.
Of his first outing, Chilton evaluated: “It’s everything I thought it would be – a very well put together car. The balance is very neutral, which makes it forgiving.
At the moment I am trying to work out how I can play with the car to understand the handling and set up. Small changes on the Cruze can make big differences, which is a sign of a great chassis.
The car has had so much development over the years and it feels good. I’m really enjoying being out on track and I feel like I am moulding into the team well so far.”
Ron Hartvelt, WTCC Project Supervisor summarised: “The two days have gone well without incident, although Brands Hatch was wet which gave us limited scope.
At Snetterton we had invaluable time with Yvan in the car during the morning session, primarily concentrating on getting the car right to match the conditions here. It means we have a solid base from which to hand the car over to Tom.
The main objective for Tom is to learn how the car (and team) works. We’re running as many laps as we can, trialling various changes so he understands how the car reacts and responds to his style of driving.
The focus isn’t on lap times yet, that comes later, but it was important for Tom to overlay his data with Yvan to have a benchmark.”
Rounds 1 & 2 of the FIA WTCC take place on Sunday 24th March.