WTCC heads to Imola


Larini To Fight For Pole Position; Huff To Continue Title Chase

The penultimate European round of the 2008 World Touring Car Championship takes the Chevrolet team to Imola, Italy for the Race of San Marino.

All three Chevrolet Lacetti drivers will be on a mission this weekend. Rob Huff will be out to score as many points as he can given the ballast his Oschersleben success has brought him. Alain Menu and Nicola Larini meanwhile will be running lighter cars, so they will be going for the podium, with the additional task for Menu to drive the Chevrolet Lacetti “art car”.

Menu’s black and gold one-off race car is the winning design of the pan-European “Young, Creative, Chevrolet” competition which Chevrolet ran in cooperation with design schools in different countries. Winner Adi Sumi from Slovenia was present at RML’s UK workshops last week to watch the regular two-tone blue Chevrolet being turned into a moving work of art and will be present in Imola to see his work in action.


Rob Huff: “It will be a challenge going to Imola. It will take us a few laps to get to know the track again as we haven’t been there since 2005 and they have changed the track a bit. The toughest part will be running with 70 kilos of success ballast, which is something I have never done before in my whole touring car career. So my aim is to qualify in the top ten and then finish the races in the points. If we can get away with four or five points, I will be very happy. Imola is a long, fast and undulating track, not necessarily what you want with a heavy car. The good thing though is that all the guys in front of me in the championship are running more or less the same weight. That said I will have to keep an eye on those behind me in the standings as well.”

Alain Menu: “Considering how competitive we were at Oschersleben with a heavy car I can only be optimistic for the Imola races, since I’ll be running just 40 kilograms. The objective therefore is to have two good races and hopefully finish on the podium. That would be great, particularly as my car will be the art car. I’m always in for something a bit out of the ordinary and the Chevrolet design competition was a great initiative to help create interest in the WTCC from quarters not necessarily familiar with racing. And if can finish on the podium with the art car it would be a first as well, as I don’t believe there has ever before been an art car which finished on the podium of a race, regardless of the championship.”

Nicola Larini: “As you can imagine, I feel extremely motivated for this first of two rounds in Italy. The form shown by the car in the last races has been excellent: I was impressed with the balance and the performance of the Lacetti in Oschersleben, a track that had not been too favorable to us in the past. The car performs and feels well and we have a good pace everywhere. Imola is definitely a circuit I like, even after the changes they introduced and which are aimed at making overtaking a little bit easier. On top, I will be relatively light in terms of ballast, so I’ll be really going for my first victory!”


Friday, 19th September 200815.00-15.30 TestingSaturday, 20th September 200809.00-09.30 Free Practice 111.30-12.00 Free Practice 215.00-15.30 QualifyingSunday, 21st September 200809.00-09.15 Warm up12.20-12.45 Race 1 (11 laps = 51.744kms) (Rolling start)15.35-16.00 Race 2 (11 laps = 51.744kms) (Standing start)

DRIVERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 16 OF 241. Y Muller (SEAT), 66 points; 2. G Tarquini (SEAT), 64; 3. A Priaulx (BMW), 53; 4. R Rydell (SEAT), 51; 5. R Huff (Chevrolet), 50;…10. A Menu (Chevrolet), 40;… 11. N Larini (Chevrolet), 30;…

MANUFACTURERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 16 OF 241. SEAT, 216 points; 2. BMW, 192; 3. Chevrolet, 157; 4. Honda, 26.SUCCESS BALLAST FOR IMOLA1. R Huff (Chevrolet), 70kgs; 2. F Porteiro (BMW), 70kgs; 3. A Farfus (BMW), 68kgs; 4. Y Muller (SEAT) 66kgs; 5. G Tarquini (SEAT), 64kgs;… 9. A Menu (Chevrolet), 45kgs;… 12. N Larini (Chevrolet), 30kgs;…

IMOLA WTCC ON TVIn Europe, the warm-up and the races will be broadcasted live on Eurosport International.