CHEVROLET TRIO INNOCENT VICTIMS IN INCIDENT-MARRED OPENING WTCC RACE Menu And Larini Drive Strong Comeback Second Race CURITIBA, What should have been a successful weekend for the Chevrolet WTCC team at round one of the 2008 World Touring Car...
CHEVROLET TRIO INNOCENT VICTIMS IN INCIDENT-MARRED OPENING WTCC RACE
Menu And Larini Drive Strong Comeback Second Race
CURITIBA, What should have been a successful weekend for the Chevrolet WTCC team at round one of the 2008 World Touring Car Championship took a turn for the worse after barely two laps into the first race. Alain Menu was deliberately taken off by another competitor, while a broken gearbox as a result of a clash with the same competitor caused Nicola Larini to crash into Rob Huff, who later retired as well with suspension problems as a consequence of this.
In the second race, Huff again fell victim of another competitor after only a few corners, but Menu and Larini proved that the Chevrolet Lacetti had indeed the right level of competitiveness when they fought their way up from the back of the grid to tenth and 12th overall.
Alain Menu (DNF/10th): "Everything was going just fine in race 1. At the end of the first lap I had noticed Gene braked at least ten metres too early at the end of the straight, so next time round, when he did that again, I dived inside of him since the door was wide open. I was perfectly alongside him and he just deliberately turned in on me. It wasn't a case of closing the door, since we weren't even at the corner yet. Then in the second race I had a perfect start, but Rob got hit by another car and went sideways so I had to come to a near-standstill, losing all the places I had made up at the start. So from then on I could only try to limit the damage, but the car worked brilliantly and I finished tenth. Without the first-corner incident I'm sure I would have finished in the points."
Nicola Larini (DNF/12th): "In the first race I had a good start and the car felt really good. But then in the braking zone for the final corner I lost the transmission which meant I couldn't slow down fast enough and I hit Rob. It's a shame really because both of us were in a good position to take home some big points. In the second race everything went as well as it should have gone in race one, but Zanardi blocked me for a number of laps, allowing Alain to pass us both."
Rob Huff (DNF/DNF): "Unfortunately I have had one of the shortest race weekends of my career. In race one I was the victim of Nic's gearbox issues, which ultimately led to my retirement with a broken suspension. Then in the second race Monteiro got alongside me but ran over the kerbs and got launched onto my rear wheel, so I had to three-wheel to pits again. It's a pity because all three of us had a good car and we could have had a really good start to the season."
Eric Nève: "It's not the weekend we had wished for, as like so often in the past we again fell victim of other drivers' behaviour. This time it was even so blatantly obvious that the stewards stepped in with immediate sanctions. It could have been a good weekend for Chevrolet, but the top speed of today's winners is still very much a concern. Let's hope that things can improve on all issues concerned at the next round in Mexico. There are still 22 races left in this year's WTCC, so we'll go to Puebla as prepared and committed as always. "