Valuable Data Collected in Brazil Will Unlock The Cruze’s Potential
After the season’s inaugural races in Brazil, the World Touring Car Championship is climbing further, both in the map and in altitude, as the second round of the championship will take place in Mexico, in the ‘Autódromo Luis Abed’, located in Amozoc, near Puebla, at 2304 meters above the sea. The altitude has always been a crucial parameter in Puebla, together with varying surface conditions of the track.
While the cars and the equipment are flying straight from Brazil to Mexico, the team and drivers went back to Europe in between the two races. Activity is intense in the RML factory: based on all the information collected in Curitiba, developments are being prepared for Puebla, in order to allow the new Cruze to build up on the good potential shown in its debut in Brazil.
QUOTES Rob Huff (#11): “We can face the Puebla event with some confidence. The new Cruze showed a good level of performance in its debut in Brazil and I believe we can move things forward in Mexico, where we were competitive last year. This said, Puebla is always a peculiar track, where track conditions may change very quickly. Sometimes, the track gets very greasy and it’s almost like driving on ice. Finding a good balance will be key, but I think we have the potential to do well”. Alain Menu (#12): “Letting aside the result, I am happy with the behavior of the Cruze in Brazil. Most importantly, we have learnt a lot about the car during this first race week-end and we made substantial progress in setting up the car. Puebla should suit us even better, as it is a track with fewer straights. It would be nice if we can get closer to the diesel cars, but my first objective will be to score some good points”.
Nicola Larini (#14): “I still have to come to terms with the sanction inflicted to me in the first race in Brazil, as I think it was totally unjustified, and it deprived us of 5 well-deserved points. Still, this is motivating me even further ahead of Puebla. Last year, I was in first row and clinched a podium finish, so I hope to be able to do as well, although Puebla remains a very particular track. Qualifying well will be important: the new qualifying format does not change things much, although I believe teams with more cars are slightly advantaged”. Mark Busfield, Project Manager: “Having the two first races of the season in South America obviously poses some logistical challenges. The Monday after the races in Brazil, the cars underwent a thorough check in Curitiba. Then, the cars, parts and equipment were packaged for travelling to Puebla in the two Jumbo freighters organized for all WTCC teams. The team will be arriving in Mexico on Sunday and start rebuilding the cars and preparing them for the next event. In the meantime, this week, we have been reviewing in the RML factory in England all the data collected during the race week-end in Brazil. As it was the first event ever for the Cruze, and we experienced different conditions including rain, we have collected a lot of information, which will be very useful for optimizing our performance. We are pleased with the cars’ pace in Brazil and we performed well in Mexico in the past, so we are pretty confident that Puebla should suit us well”.
Eric Nève, Manager Motorsport Chevrolet Europe: “It is nice to be with the new Cruze in Mexico, a market which is very important for GM and Chevrolet and where there is a lot of expectation for the new Cruze, a model that benefits of being a truly global car. The team and the drivers will be involved in some PR activities during the week and will have the opportunity to meet with GM México’s employees, like they did last year. I hope we can reward their warm support with a good result, and most of all, that we’ll be able to have two incident-free races this time and see the potential of the Cruze materialized with some heavy points”.