Cruzes Take 2-3-4 in Qualifying in Monza
Muller, Huff and Menu off to a promising start of the season
MONZA, 10 March 2012: The Cruzes of Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu finished in the top four in the first qualifying session of the 2012 WTCC, but missed the pole position by a mere 59 thousandths of a second against local hero Gabriele Tarquini, who benefitted from a lighter car and a perfect tow from Coronel.
The new qualifying system, used today for the first time, sees the 12 fastest drivers in Q1 progress to Q2. The grid for Race 1 is formed with the quickest times of Q2 (and of Q1 for 13th position onwards), while grid of Race 2 will see the first 10 positions of Q2 in reverse order. The driver claiming pole position is awarded five championship points.
The other Cruzes also performed well, with Rydell (5th) and MacDowall (8th) in the top 12, while Di Sabatino qualified 18th.
Yvan Muller (2nd): “I’m pleased with the result. The work we have done and the team strategy worked as planned. My only concern was that it took a little bit longer to have a clean and fast lap in Q1, so at one point I was out of the top 12, which is always stressful. I must congratulate Gabriele [Tarquini] for the fantastic lap that gave him pole. I’ve always said that this 2012 championship is going to be more closely-fought and this first response from the track proves it.”
Rob Huff (3rd): “A good day for the team, although we couldn’t secure pole. Still, our towing strategy was successful and the car feels good. We are significantly faster than last year in Monza, but I think this is also due to the fact it is much earlier in the year and the turbo and the tires are working better in cooler temperatures.”
Alain Menu (4th): “I’m satisfied with the result, although I was surprised to see how different track conditions were in qualifying with respect to free practice. The car was actually oversteering in the morning and understeering in the afternoon, especially in key points such as the Parabolica and the Lesmo corners.”
Eric Nève: “It was a very close qualifying session where slipstreaming again played a decisive role. It’s a good start of the season for Chevrolet and it’s interesting to see that the gap is narrowing. It is going to be an exciting championship.”