VALENCIA TO BE FIRST RACE ON A TRADITIONAL CIRCUIT IN EUROPE FOR THE CRUZE Huff, Larini And Menu Hopeful To Increase Points Toll WELLINGBOUROUGH / ZURICH, 22nd May 2009 Round 5 of the World Touring Car Championship will take the WTCC circus...
VALENCIA TO BE FIRST RACE ON A TRADITIONAL CIRCUIT IN EUROPE FOR THE CRUZE
Huff, Larini And Menu Hopeful To Increase Points Toll
WELLINGBOUROUGH / ZURICH, 22nd May 2009 Round 5 of the World Touring Car Championship will take the WTCC circus to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on the outskirts of Valencia, the lively and sunny Mediterranean city. The Race of Spain, of course, brings back pleasant memories, as Rob Huff and Alain Menu won a race each there last year.
This time, though, any prediction would be unwise. This will be the first race for the new Cruze on a traditional track in Europe. While the car has performed beyond expectations on street circuits, collecting twice an impressive double victory in the urban tracks of Marrakech and Pau, the Cruze still has to prove its real potential on traditional tracks. The team, though, is confident that the excellent work done so far will give fruits also away from street circuits and is aiming at collecting more points in Spain to further strengthen its position in the Championship. Chevrolet is only 9 points away from second in the Constructors' standings and Rob Huff is currently lying fourth in the Drivers' standings, 13 points behind the lead.
Rob Huff: " We had a fantastic result in Valencia last year and I hope the Cruze can follow the performance of the Lacetti as it has done on street circuits, although everybody believes it is going to be difficult to repeat the extraordinary results of Marrakech and Pau. Personally, I am 13 points behind the leader and I have been so far the driver that has led most laps, so I am in a better position than I was last year at the same point in the season. While winning races whenever possible remains my objective, I know I need to be sensible and pick up as many points as possible at every race".
Nicola Larini: "Pau was a fantastic week-end for the team, but rather frustrating for me, so I am really looking forward at being in Valencia as soon as possible and start a completely new event. We tested a lot in Valencia during the winter break but I don't think the references gathered then will be as useful, because things have changed: track conditions, car evolution, weight compensation, etc. but the good thing is we do have reference to start from".
Alain Menu: "Valencia was very successful for us last year but we were light. With the most recent decisions from the FIA bureau, I expect our Spanish competitors to be very quick there. However, we know the Cruze has progressed a lot since we tested in Valencia some months ago. I'll do my usual best and will be aiming at some good points".
Mark Busfield: "We had an extraordinary first outing in Europe, and it will be interesting to see how the Cruze performs on a traditional European track. Once again, we are on a very short turn- around time, which only allows to rebuild and re-prepare the cars, introduce very minor modifications and up-dates, with no testing or development work. Our main task will be to prepare the spare car for Nic, as his race car was badly damaged in Pau and we need a little more time to rebuild it properly. This Saturday, Nic and Rob will shake-down the three cars at Millbrook and then we will be off to Spain, hoping to come back with as many points as possible".
Eric Nève: "It is very nice to win four races in a row, but we shouldn't think it is going to be like this the rest of the season! We have proven that the Cruze is extremely competitive in street circuits, now with Valencia we will be back to traditional permanent tracks and we will have to be realistic with regard to expectations and pragmatic with regard to strategies, as we now have one of our drivers in a very good position in the Championship standings. The Cruze WTCC has already made its debut in Spain, as it was exhibited at the recent Barcelona Motor Show, so I know our Spanish fans are eager to see it in action, and we will have as special guests twenty of them who have won a promotion at the Motor Show".
VALENCIA WTCC ON TV
In Europe, qualifying, warm-up and the races will be broadcasted live on Eurosport International.
CHEVROLET RACING AROUND THE GLOBE
In the US, Chevrolet signed an historic result in Darlington, as Chevy drivers trusted the seven first positions, with Mark Martin winning ahead of Johnson, Stewart, Newman, Gordon, Truex and Keselowski. In the overall standings, Jeff Gordon continues to lead, ahead of Tony Stewart. More information can be found on www.nascar.com.
In the UK, Jason Plato is now third in the standings of the BTCC, with Mat Jackson eighth and Harry Vaulhard twelth, following Round 3 at Donington, which Plato finished third in one of the three races. More information on www.btcc.net.
In Argentina, Chevrolet Elaion driver, Guillermo Ortelli, brought the new Vectra to its maiden victory in the first race of Round 3 of the TC2000, held in Obera. More information can be found on www.tc2000.com.ar.
In Denmark, the Chevrolet Lacettis stormed the opening event of the Danish Touring Car Championship (DTCC), at Jyllandsringen, winning all three races of the weekend, with Michel Nykjaer clinching two wins and Henrik Lundgaard. More information on www.dtc-net.dk.
In Germany, the third round of the ADAC Procar is taking place this week-end at the Nurburgring. The two drivers of Maurer Motorsport's Chevrolet Lacetti, Michael Ruh and Andrei Romanov, are currently 6th and 11th in the overall standings. More info on www.adac-procar.de.
In Sweden, the Lacetti of Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden driven by Thomas Schie is seventh in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC), after the opening round in Mantorp Park. More info on www.stcc.se.