The Cruzes Take The Assault To WTCC's New Era
Curitiba inaugurates 2011 season and new technical rules
The new 1.6 turbo Cruze ready to take the challenge after intensive winter testing
Muller, Huff and Menu joined by 'Caca' Bueno for Brazilian season-opener
After the very successful 2010 campaign, where it conquered both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' crowns, Chevrolet is ready to take up the new challenge. In parallel to its race commitments, the team has worked extremely hard throughout 2010 to design and build the new 1.6 turbo engine, something that has been achieved in less than nine months, a real record for RML's engine department led by Arnaud Martin. The Cruze itself had to undergo a 70 % re-design, as fitting the new engine, smaller in size but with increased power and torque, impacts on the engineering of many other elements, from cooling and ancillary systems to front suspension, brakes, aerodynamics and the overall weight distribution of the car.
September 2010 marked the start of the crucial phase of development and testing and ahead of the Curitiba race that will open this year's season, over 4500 kms of tests have been completed, to the entire satisfaction of drivers and engineers. Chevrolet has been the first WTCC manufacturer ready to hit the track with the new car and is hopeful that the experience gained will help meeting the demanding reliability targets imposed by the new rules, which allow only one engine change per car in 2011.
The driver line-up has not changed, in accordance to one of the oldest principles in motorsports: never change a winning team! As World Champion, Yvan Muller has been entitled to sport #1 on his car, while Rob Huff, a recent editorial recruit of The Sun, for which he'll write a column on the WTCC throughout the entire season, will have #2. Breaking the sequence's logic, Alain Menu will have #8, a deliberate choice in order to be able to sport Louis Chevrolet's famous "lucky number" in this very special Centennial year for the brand.
In Brazil, Chevrolet will enter a fourth car, easily recognizable from its unusual orange livery, which will be entrusted to local hero Carlos 'Caca' Bueno. Thanks to the support of iCarros and Itau Bank, the 34-year-old Brazilian stock car ace will have a possibility to shine in front of his home crowd, in what will be his second outing with the Cruze, following his WTCC debut at Brands hatch last year.