Alain Menu and Nicola Larini Test Chevrolet Lacetti WTC Development of Chevrolet WTCC contender on schedule NUNEATON, 21 January 2005 - Swiss driver, Alain Menu, and his Italian team mate, Nicola Larini, both had their first...
Alain Menu and Nicola Larini Test Chevrolet Lacetti WTC
Development of Chevrolet WTCC contender on schedule
NUNEATON, 21 January 2005 - Swiss driver, Alain Menu, and his Italian team mate, Nicola Larini, both had their first drives in the Chevrolet Lacetti WTC at the MIRA Proving Grounds in Nuneaton, Great Britain, today.
Since the initial shakedown at MIRA two weeks ago, the first Chevrolet Lacetti WTC has undergone extensive workshop tests at RML. Prior to the second shakedown today the chassis also underwent suspension testing with the aim of optimising damping and spring rates. A second car was tested on the rig at French tyre company Michelin.
Chevrolet Europe's Motorsports Manager, Eric Nève, watched the test at MIRA, and was happy with the progress made so far. "The team is right on schedule, which is always very positive in a brand new undertaking like the Chevrolet WTCC programme. But what is more is that so far there haven't been any unpleasant surprises, which again emphasises the professionalism and technical know-how of RML. The team's experience combined with our drivers line-up will make sure that this project makes the necessary, steady progress needed before the first race in March."
Just like Rob Huff, who did the initial shake down of the Chevrolet Lacetti WTC, Nicola Larini was pleased with the car after a morning's work: "The car is a very "clean" and a good basis to start our development work from. It is well balanced and I'm sure we'll make some serious progress once we're in Albacete. Here we ran with a test engine, so the real race engine we'll have at the next test will already be a major step forward. Other than that we worked on adapting the gears to my liking and some other set- up solutions. Surprisingly enough I had no problems adapting to the right- hand drive configuration of the car, although this was the very first time in my career that I was sitting on the "wrong" side. I'm really looking forward to our tests in Spain as I have a very good feeling about this programme."
Equally positive was Alain Menu, who drove the car after lunch: "It was an interesting afternoon, as for me it was the first time I worked with the team. It's difficult to get to an accurate impression of things, as the Proving Grounds are of course not a real circuit, but overall things look like a solid basis, which doesn't come as a surprise when you know RML's pedigree. We will get a better idea where exactly we stand after the first test in Albacete in February, but today has been a good day to build relationships with all the team members."
The team will now concentrate again on the preparation of two cars before setting off to Spain, where a three day test is scheduled at the Albacete race track in early February.