Chevrolet Racing Starts Winter Test Programme in Spain First week of testing confirms car's potential After the initial shake down of the Chevrolet Lacetti WTC at the MIRA Proving Grounds in the UK, Chevrolet Racing has embarked on a winter ...
Chevrolet Racing Starts Winter Test Programme in Spain
First week of testing confirms car's potential
After the initial shake down of the Chevrolet Lacetti WTC at the MIRA Proving Grounds in the UK, Chevrolet Racing has embarked on a winter test programme which saw the team in action at Idiada (two days) and Albacete (three days) in Spain. All three Chevrolet drivers - Alain Menu from Switzerland, Nicola Larini from Italy and Rob Huff from Great Britain - participated in the extensive test sessions using two of the brand new race cars.
"The Albacete track has bits of everything," Rob Huff explained the choice of the central Spanish race track which is predominantly used for motorbike races. "There's a tight chicane, some slow corners, some fast ones, some very fast ones. There are some corners where you balance the throttle, there are high speed braking points, basically everything you'll find throughout the touring car championship, except for the undulations you have at a track like Spa. The way the track is laid out it also allows you to be consistent more easily and get into a good rhythm, which helps the engineers in comparing all the data they gather on the different set-ups we use at each five-lap run. All we, as drivers, have to do is to drive as clean as possible."
Dense fog and freezing temperatures on the second day at Albacete halted activities on the track, but not in the pitlane, as RML Chief Engineer, Graham Norden, explains: "We used the time the team lost on the track to analyse our engine and chassis data. These analyses we then supported with lap simulations on the computer, basically doing some "virtual testing". It allows us to understand the car better and modify the test plan with those settings where needed. The race engineers can thus use our analysis from this morning in this afternoon's test runs. Despite the poor weather this morning, we've been able to put the time to good use, which has enabled us to move forward more rapidly this afternoon."
Nicola Larini was pleased with the work done so far in Spain: "Rather than looking for performance, we're here to set a baseline to work from in the coming weeks. We are still in the process of learning the car and its reactions to the different set-ups. What we already know for sure, however, is that the car is going well and that the reliability is there. The chassis is very good, braking is excellent and the car has lots of potential".