RUNNING UP THAT HILL: CHEVROLET PREPARES FOR OKAYAMA RACES
Menu Fastest Chevrolet; Orido First Japanese
The World Touring Car Championship discovered the remote Japanese track of Okayama today. Set in the mountainous forest region of the Okayama Prefecture, the track hosts the penultimate race of the 2008 WTCC.
All four Chevrolet drivers acquitted themselves well in yesterday’s testing session, although they were anonymous about the particularities of the tight and twisty former home of the Pacific F1 Grand Prix. Alain Menu was fastest of the Chevrolet drivers, just four tenths from fastest, while Max Orido was the quicker of the Japanese drivers.
• QUOTESAlain Menu (6 th ): “This is a quite challenging track, very technical, but also still very slippery.Because there’s so little grip it is quite tricky to judge the entry speed. We’ll work on the chassisa bit, but I suppose it was a good start to the weekend. The other thing today was that it wasquite hot in the car, not what you would expect in autumn.”
Rob Huff (9 th ): “It is an interesting track, very technical and thus very easy to overdrive. Thelast two thirds of the circuit are so tight that if you’re stuck behind a slower car your own speedis entirely governed by his since you can hardly overtake. So basically it will be down to gettingqualifying right and then let the races come to us.”
Nicola Larini (13 th ): “I tried a different set-up from the others and the car understeered toomuch, also because of the slippery nature of the track. I’m sure we’ll be okay by tomorrow’squalifying.”
Max Orido (18 th ): “Today was good. It’s been a long time since I raced a touring car here, butthe base we worked from today was good, with still some possibilities for improvement. I’mprovisionally the first Japanese driver, so that’s good as well. I’m in any case closer to the firstChevrolet as well as to the fastest driver out there, so I’m happy with my improvement sinceMonza. Hopefully I can shave a few extra tenths off my time tomorrow.”
OKAYAMA TESTING RESULTS
1. A Farfus BMW 320si 1m38s3712. A Priaulx BMW 320si +0s1323. G Tarquini SEAT Leon TDI +0s1544. R Rydell SEAT Leon TDI +0s3105. Y Muller SEAT Leon TDI +0s3156. A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti +0s4529. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti +0s95913. N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti +1s24518. M Orido Chevrolet Lacetti +2s235