Huff In Seventh; Larini In 19 th ; Orido In 21 st
Qualifying for todays’s Okayama WTCC round saw Chevrolet’s Alain Menu finish in a very competitive fourth fastest place, while world title challenger Rob Huff qualified his Lacetti in seventh. Nicola Larini was unfortunate to see his fastest lap aborted after a car had gone off in the last corner, while local hero Max Orido improved his performance dramatically.
On the twisty, narrow and very technical Okayama International Circuit, near the city of Mimosaka, qualifying was essential for tomorrow’s races, as overtaking will be even more difficult than at the other tracks visited so far, so Menu and Huff were both quite pleased with their performances.
• QUOTESAlain Menu (4 th ): “My first lap was good, but I knew there was still a tenth or two to be foundsomewhere. Then on my second lap the car suddenly snapped into oversteer in Turn 2, so thatput paid to that effort. But it’s good to start fourth with a genuine possibility of finishing on thepodium.”
Rob Huff (7 th ): “It was a difficult session, with the track coming and going, but overall I’m prettypleased with my performance. I’m just two tenths off Alain who is running a lot lighter, so I’mquite happy with being seventh on the grid. It is also good to be behind Stefano D’Aste on thegrid as he hopefully will try to move up and maybe create some space for me to follow himthrough. If not, I hope to get as many points as possible in race 1.”
Nicola Larini (19 th ): “I had an unlucky qualifying session, I’m afraid. The track was better thanit was in free practice this morning and I had more grip as well, which should have put me inthe top ten. But unfortunately a yellow was waved when a car had gone off in the last corner onmy fastest lap. It won’t be easy to finish in the points tomorrow but I will try as hard as I can.Never say never.”
Max Orido (21 st ): “I’m very happy with my result today. I found a second between thismorning’s sessions and qualifying, and again managed to close the gap to the leaders as wellas to the other Chevrolets. I’m now only two tenths slower than Nic so that’s quite pleasing.
OKAYAMA QUALIFYING RESULTS
1. A Farfus BMW 320si 1m37s0402. J Müller BMW 320si +0s2273. T Monteiro SEAT Leon TDI +0s3144. A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti +0s3825. R Rydell SEAT Leon TDI +0s4187. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti +0s57019. N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti +1s28221. M Orido Chevrolet Lacetti +1s503