Up-dated 5th July 2010 The Cruzes Remain As WTCC Leaders After Another Strong Show In Portugal Muller, twice 2nd, retains drivers' top spot Menu contributes to the points' harvest, while Huff is deprived of brilliant 3rd place after the ...
Up-dated 5th July 2010
The Cruzes Remain As WTCC Leaders After Another Strong Show In Portugal
Muller, twice 2nd, retains drivers' top spot Menu contributes to the points' harvest, while Huff is deprived of brilliant 3rd place after the race
PORTIMÃO, 4th July 2010 - On a track transformed to something close to an oven by the severe heat (almost 40o. of air temperature), the Cruzes put together another great team effort, as Yvan Muller finished 2nd in both races, Rob Huff took 3rd in race 2 (after starting 18th on the grid) but lost it after the race due to a 30-second penalty, and Alain Menu collected a 3rd and a 5th position.
This allows Muller and the team to continue leading both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' championships as the WTCC nears the mid-season mark. The good work done during the practice sessions paid off, the Cruze proving to be well-balanced and competitive on the demanding Portuguese track which took its toll on many of the driver's tyres, including Rob's in race 1, placing him in 18th. The Briton had a brilliant performance in Race 2, crossing the line in 3rd position, but he was later stripped of the result, following a 30-seconds penalty inflicted by the marshals for a race incident with Farfus.
Chevrolet's good day was completed by the first win in the Independents' Trophy obtained by Bamboo Engineering, the British privateer team that enters two Lacettis in the junior category of the WTCC; Hong-Kong driver Darryl O'Young finished 2nd in race 1 and took his maiden win in the Trophy in race 2, with team-mate Harry Vaulkhard (3rd in race 2) also climbing on the independent's podium.
Yvan Muller (2nd/2nd) "I am quite happy with the result: two second places is not bad at all in the context of the fight for the title. Today, it was very difficult because of the heat: with almost 40o.C outside, you can image how we felt inside the cars! In race 1, I was about to attack Tiago for the first place when I was told on the radio that Rob had suffered a puncture, so I stayed quiet and secured second position and the points. When you go for the championship, you have to be able not to take unnecessary risks. In race 2, I was involved in a number of duels, it was tough but always correct and finishing second was a nice reward".
Alain Menu (5th/3rd): "Another good result for the team and some good points for me. Race 1 was pretty uneventful and I finished fifth. I had a good start in race 2, coming second at the first turn. At the start of lap 4 I could successfully attack Michelisz to take the lead, but Tarquini, who was close behind, overtook both of us; he had a better line and tried to defend it but he was simply much faster. Later, I didn't really resist against Yvan and Rob, as they seemed a little bit faster. I gave a little push to both my team mates at the hairpin, it was completely unintentional, I was simply re- accelerating a little bit earlier than them, as I had a lot of pressure from the BMWs behind me".
Rob Huff (18th/15th): "In race 1, it was a pity to suffer that puncture on my front left tire at mid- race, losing a good fourth position. We knew that tires would suffer today and that was proof of it. Race 2 was definitely lively: I started 18th and finished 3rd, so I guess I did a good job. There was some good fighting along the way, with Priaulx, who started from the back as well, with Coronel and with Farfus. When I was attacking Tom, he changed line a couple of times, then braked earlier than expected and I touched him, but I got past. With Farfus, he also changed lines twice, and when we had the slight contact, I was holding my line, so I don't think there is much to be said about that incident, but clearly, the marshals had a different view. Nevertheless, the most important is that we had another very good week-end for the team".
Eric Nève: "These have again been two closely-fought and exciting races, we have been on the forefront fighting for victory again and we come back with many good points. The two second positions of Yvan are very important towards the championship and prove that we can be consistent throughout the season, which is the key for the title battle. Moreover, we have produced again an excellent team effort and we continue to lead both championships, which is the best position you can possibly be in ahead of Brands Hatch, the team's home race, in just a fortnight".