VALENCIA: Chevrolet preview

Valencia, Last Stop In Europe In The Decisive Final Stretch Of The Season The team is working in parallel on the 2011 program, as the Cruze with the new 1.6 turbo engine will soon take the track for first tests ZURICH - WELLINGBOROUGH, 9th...

Valencia, Last Stop In Europe In The Decisive Final Stretch Of The Season

The team is working in parallel on the 2011 program, as the Cruze with the new 1.6 turbo engine will soon take the track for first tests

ZURICH - WELLINGBOROUGH, 9th September 2010 - The 2010 WTCC season is progressively but steadily reaching its climax. With only three rounds to the end, the battle for the title is fiercer than ever. In Oschersleben, Chevrolet has proven to be able to keep the momentum shown throughout the season and its determination to continue on this path.

The last European round of the season will take place in Spain and hosted at the `Circuit Ricardo Tormo' in Cheste, very close to Valencia. The Spanish event has become one of the most pleasant ones in the season, because of the warm welcome of Spanish fans and the summer atmosphere that Valencia still offers at this time of the year. Still, the twisty Valencian track is one of the most technical ones in the calendar. The Cruzes, which have tested there extensively during the winter, will seek to collect more heavy points and to increase their advantage in both championships.

The end of the season is not the only focus of attention for Chevrolet and RML, as the team is working with an eye on 2011, a season that will see the introduction of new rules in the WTCC and namely the launch of the new 1.6 turbo petrol engine. Chevrolet has been devoting a lot of work to the new engine and since this week the new unit designed, developed and built in-house at RML is being tested on a dynamometer. In the forthcoming days, the new engine will be track- tested in the Cruze and the entire team is committed to this exciting project.

* QUOTES

Yvan Muller: "Valencia is a twisty circuit, where our rear-wheel drive competitors should be very competitive, especially in the second part of the races. This said, we have seen this year that the Cruze has performed well on all types of circuits, and has been able to win on tracks theoretically less suited to the Cruze such as Brno and Oschersleben, so I think we will have good cards to play in our hands and we should be ready to fight for good results. In Oschersleben, Tarquini lost many points while Priaulx made a big step forward. This proves that the championship is going to be extremely closely-fought, until the very last lap, and that things can change quickly. This makes it even more critical to try not to have set-backs and continue delivering great team efforts as done so far".

Rob Huff: "Oschersleben was quite a frustrating week-end for me, but that's the past and I am upwards and onwards! We have had some good success in Valencia in the past and I am sure we can have a good result there as well. We have tested a lot there last winter, but I don't think this will be of a great help now: it was different weather conditions and temperatures and the car has evolved a lot since then. The Cruze has shown it is strong on every circuit and the team is working really well, so we are ready to fight in this tough end of the season. What we need to do is continue to win races and make sure we bring home the two championships". ./.. Alain Menu: "It was nice to win again in Oschersleben; I had a little bit of luck, but I think it was well-deserved after the lack of it in previous rounds. That's behind us by now and the focus must be on Valencia, where my objective will be to drive as well as I can and to bring good points to the team. Once again, our position on the grid will be critical. We have seen a number of times during this season that qualifying well has been very useful to get excellent results, especially on tracks more favourable to the opposition. Before Valencia, I still have quite an important task to perform: this week-end I will race with my son Maxime in the Cruze Cup round in Sachsenring! This will be the first time we'll race together and I can't tell you whether it's the dad or the kid who is the most nervous about it! I really look forward to this new experience and I am quite anxious to see how Maxime will do in such a difficult and beautiful circuit like Sachsenring. Our objective is a podium finish, that would definitely be very nice".

Ron Hartvelt: "No time to rest these days at the factory, as we are working full steam on both the end of the season and the 2011 programme. For Valencia, I am confident that the Cruze will be competitive and the goal is to continue collecting points and protect our leading position in both championships. With regard to 2011, it is extremely exciting to be involved in the new engine programme, which has started eight months ago. Everything is being done in-house, from design to building and testing, so this is quite an exciting adventure for RML and Chevrolet. We are on schedule and quite happy with the results so far. The engine is being tested on the dynamometer at the moment and soon it will be mounted on the Cruze. From a technical point of view, the biggest engineering challenge is the installation in the chassis of the coolers required by the 1.6 turbo engine, but I think we have been able to solve that and we are now anxious to have the first real-life responses".

Arnaud Martin (Chief Engineer RML Engines): "We started the new engine project from a white sheet of paper on the second week of January and the engine has been tested for the first time last Monday, so it has been 8 months of very intense work. The parameters laid out by the FIA are quite stringent, especially in terms of reliability; the challenge for us has been to reach a higher level of performance than the one provided by the current 2.0 aspirated engine while ensuring superior reliability to match the new rules (only one engine change allowed during the season in 2011 and none in 2012!). At the moment the engine has had 15 hours on the dynamometer, for tests essentially aimed at calibration and mapping, but we have already done some tests at full power output and everything went as we expected. The next step is to put the engine in the car and have the car running. Generally, it takes a couple of months to go from the dynamo to the track, here we are talking a couple of weeks, so we can say we are off to some record-breaking!"

Eric Nève: "While we are extremely focused on the final rounds of the championship and determined to finish the job, we are also preparing the future. These are days of a lot of work around the new engine and the new car for 2011. Designing a new racing engine from scratch and building it from A to Z is an ambitious programme and a tremendous challenge. Chevrolet has been one of the first manufacturers to believe in the new global race engine promoted by the FIA and we are anxious to hit the track with the new car. These are really thrilling times!"

VALENCIA WTCC ON TV
In Europe, qualifying, warm up and the races are be broadcasted live on Eurosport International.

CHEVROLET RACING AROUND THE GLOBE

In the US, Chevy driver Tony Stewart found again the ay to victory in the NASCAR prime series at Atlanta. In the overall standings, Kevin Harvick is still the leader, ahead of Jeff Gordon, while Stewart lies fourth.

In the UK, the Knockhill round of the BTCC saw Jason Plato taking one win and one third, while Alex McDowall took the pole and one second. In the standings, Plato has now a 20-point lead while McDowall is 11th.

In Argentina, the Chevrolet Elaion team is preparing for this week-end's round of the TC 2000 on the street circuit of Santa Fe. Christian Ledesma is 5th in the championship, after his double win in La Rioja, and Guillermo Ortelli 9th.

In Scandinavia, Jan Magnussen took a fifth and Viktor Hallrup a seventh in their respective series, the Danish and Swedish touting car championship, at the joint event held in Jyllandsringen.

-source: chevy

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Jan Magnussen , Kevin Harvick , Yvan Muller , Jason Plato , Rob Huff , Christian Ledesma , Alain Menu , Guillermo Ortelli