ROB HUFF MOVES UP TO FOURTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP Finishes On Podium Again; Larini Twice In Points; Dark Horse Menu Stumbles
Chevrolet played the strategy game this weekend with one clear mission: ensure that Rob Huff could take home the maximum possible amount of points. Huff could thus take home a third and a fourth place, more than he could have hoped for considering he was running with the maximum success ballast of 70kgs. Larini sacrificed his own chances of scoring a maiden WTCC win at home by helping out the other two Chevrolet drivers in qualifying. Alain Menu, driving the fashionable art car, was pushed out of the first race, however recovered to 12th in the second.
• QUOTES Rob Huff (4th/3rd): “I had a good start in race 1, running in third through the chicane. I tried to pass Rydell for second but didn’t make it so I decided to save third place for the points. I couldn’t keep up with the SEATs as they were so much faster on the straights. In the twistier part of the track I could close up, but coming on to the straights they just pulled away on acceleration. Then on the penultimate lap Thompson pushed me wide to overtake me so I ended up fourth. In the second race I had a good start, but then the safety car intervened because of the start line accident. After that I again had to give way to Thompson, who was clearly on a mission in a very light car this weekend, so I dropped to fourth. Nicola then had some brake issues and I could pass him for third near the end of the race.
Our goal in any case was to try and overtake Priaulx for fourth in the championship, which we managed. It has been a very good weekend for us, especially since it was the first time we ran the Chevrolet Lacetti with 70kgs of ballast. I was pleasantly surprised of how well the car handled with all that extra weight, so I’m really looking forward to Monza in two weeks.” Nicola Larini (6th/4th): “I had a dream start and was right there with the other Chevrolets entering the chicanes. I ran in sixth on the first lap and stayed there until Tarquini passed me, which was not too bad for me in view of the reversed grid for the second race. I then moved up to sixth again when Alain retired. In the second race I ran in second position when Thompson flew past me; I kept third, but then my brakes started fading so I let Rob go rather than put up a fight I would have lost anyway.” Alain Menu (DNF/12th): “I said before the start I was going to try something at the chicane, but it was too risky, so I settled for fourth behind Rob. Then on the seventh lap Thompson came flying across the grass and took me straight off. Hardly a fair manoeuvre I think. So with nothing to gain from the second race, we decided to detune the engine a bit and save it for Monza. I still finished in 12th, so I’m glad the art car finished at least one race.”
IMOLA RACE 1 RESULTS
1. Y Muller SEAT Leon TDI 11 laps in 21m24s523 2. R Rydell SEAT Leon TDI +0s411 3. J Thompson Honda Accord Euro-R +0s773 4. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti +1s376 5. G Tarquini SEAT Leon TDI +2s086 6. N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti +3s047 7. A Farfus BMW 320si +3s364 8. J Müller BMW 320si +3s906 DNF A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti Accident (6 laps) IMOLA RACE 2 RESULTS 1. J Thompson Honda Accord Euro-R 13 laps in 30m20s607 2. J Müller BMW 320si +1s120 3. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti +1s858 4. N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti +3s353 5. Y Muller SEAT Leon TDI +4s034 6. R Rydell SEAT Leon TDI +4s378 7. A Priaulx BMW 320si +5s142 8. A Farfus SEAT Leon TDI +6s029 12. A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti +11s521 DRIVERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 18 OF 24 1. Y Muller (SEAT), 80 points; 2. G Tarquini (SEAT), 68; 3. R Rydell (SEAT), 62; 4. R Huff (Chevrolet), 61; 5. A Priaulx (BMW), 55;…10. A Menu (Chevrolet), 40; 11. N Larini (Chevrolet), 38;… MANUFACTURERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 18 OF 24 1. SEAT, 241 points; 2. BMW, 207; 3. Chevrolet, 177; 4. Honda, 42.