NICOLA LARINI STARTS FROM FRONT ROW IN MEXICO Alain Menu Qualifies Fourth; Rob Huff Is Ninth PUEBLA. Nicola Larini qualified on the first row for tomorrow's second round of the 2008 WTCC in Puebla, Mexico. The Italian Chevrolet Lacetti driver...
NICOLA LARINI STARTS FROM FRONT ROW IN MEXICO
Alain Menu Qualifies Fourth; Rob Huff Is Ninth
PUEBLA. Nicola Larini qualified on the first row for tomorrow's second round of the 2008 WTCC in Puebla, Mexico. The Italian Chevrolet Lacetti driver headed the provisional standings for most of the qualifying session, but got pipped for pole in the final minutes. A last attempt saw him better his personal time, despite being blocked at one corner, but it fell just short of pole position. After the session got temporarily red-flagged when a competitor blew his turbo, Rob Huff set his fastest time on his last flying lap. After the session, Rob was docked five grid places for failing to start his engine after weight checking. Alain Menu was slightly disappointed with his time but he will nevertheless start from a competitive fifth place.
Nicola Larini (2nd): "I'm happy to start from the front row, but at the same time I'm disappointed to have been passed so close to the end of the session. I'm sure I could have been faster and pole position was certainly possible, but on my fastest lap I got baulked by Gene and that lost me some concentration and at least two tenths. Then again, I'm surprised to find only one turbodiesel car in front of me. For tomorrow my goal is to bring home as many points as possible for myself and for Chevrolet, but it will be very difficult as this is a very unforgiving track if you go even the slightest bit off-line."
Alain Menu (4th): "I could maybe have gone a little bit faster, but the car was difficult to drive and it was impossible to match Nic's times. Compared to this morning the track didn't change too much, but there were two or three corners where it was more slippery than in the second free practice session. We'll see what tomorrow brings, as there is always the second race."
Rob Huff (9th): "That was an entertaining session! On my first lap the tyres felt awful on the first half but they got a bit better in the second half. On my second run I imporoved in the second sector but then the red flag came out when someone blew his engine, so it all had to happen on the last set of tyres. I had to be so aggressive to stitch together that lap you wouldn't believe it. Since there's little grip on the track, but plenty on the painted parts in the corners, I was riding the kerbs wherever I could. Unfortunately I lost five grid places when the battery voltage dropped mid-session. The team told me to come in and as I came in I was called to the weight scales and wasn't able to start the engine after the inspection."