Another triumphant day for the Cruzes, with a 1-2 in Race 1 and a 1-2-3 in Race 2!Muller, with a double win, becomes the new leader in the Drivers’ standings
Chevrolet achieved its second consecutive title of the Manufacturers’ Championship in the WTCC yesterday . In a warm and exciting weekend of racing at Valencia, the Cruzes and the RML team finished the job with another superb team result, as Yvan Muller and Alain Menu made a 1-2 in Race 1 and Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu took a 1-2-3 in Race 2…
With regard to the Drivers’ title, it is now mathematically certain that it cannot elude one ofthe three Chevrolet drivers, but the battle is more open than ever: with his double success inSpain, Yvan has now taken the lead from Rob and is 16 points ahead of the Brit and 80ahead of Alain Menu.
In Race 1, after battling with Tarquini in the very initial stages, Yvan Muller won ahead ofAlain Menu, who emerged well from the fight for the runner-up position. Rob Huff took fifthafter being trapped in the turmoil of the first few corners, saving some precious points. TheBrit was third but lost a number of positions when he was sent off track after Monteiro hitMenu, sending the Swiss into the back of Rob’s car.
Race 2 seemed promising for the BMWs, as three of them led most of the race, with theCruzes right behind, but an incident between Coronel and Villa opened the way for Mullerand a spin from Michelisz in the very last corner which allowed Huff and Menu to secure therest of the podium.
The team will stay over in Valencia for a testing session on Monday and Tuesday, while theWTCC cars and equipment start the long journey by sea to Asia, where the last three roundswill be dominated by the fight for the Drivers’ championship.
• QUOTESYvan Muller (1st / 1st): “First of all, a very big and heartfelt “well done” to all the guys for awell deserved second Manufacturers’ title! For the rest, it is obviously a very good weekendfor me, as I arrived here six points behind Rob and I am leaving with a 16 point advantage.Still, nothing is done and I will have to stay completely focused. In Race 1, I managed topass Tarquini, who took an excellent start, and built a sufficient advantage. In Race 2, wecould keep the pace of the BMWs but were not in a position to attack them. Luckily, theyeliminated themselves and it was good to be in the right position at the right moment. Thissaid, both races were very hard on the tyres, and I finished both of them on the metal ratherthan on the rubber, especially at the rear left, which caused some lock ups in the closinglaps.”
Alain Menu (2nd / 3rd): “I am very pleased for the team and very pleased with my results,especially after the disappointment in qualifying. A second and a third is really good,considering where I was coming from. In Race 1, Monteiro hit me from behind a couple oftimes at the very beginning and I couldn’t avoid bumping Rob’s car. I am sorry for him, butthere is nothing I could do to avoid that, as the TV images show very clearly. When they toldme on the radio I had received a drive through for that, I couldn’t believe it but was verypleased when the stewards reviewed the decision soon after. Contrary to what is customary,Race 2 was much tougher, maybe because of the warm weather, but towards the end thecar got better, with a lot of drive.”
Rob Huff (5th / 2nd): "It was not the best weekend for me, but nothing is lost. We have tomove forward and use the weeks from now up to Japan to understand why I lost ground toYvan in the last 4-5 rounds, take it from there and improve our form. I look forward to thechallenge! In Race 1, I was lucky to finish fifth after everything that happened in the initial lap.There is little I can say, my race was ruined by race incidents I did not provoke, but thesethings happen… Race 2 was much better, I had a good start and then, just like Yvan, I tookadvantage when it all went wrong with for the rivals ahead of us.”
Eric Nève: “To conquer the title in the last European round, with three events still to go, issimply fantastic. I am elated for Chevrolet, for RML and every member of the team. There isa lot of work behind this second title. We took the challenge of designing and building thenew 1.6 turbo engine and were the first ones ready with it. Nothing was granted but it did payoff!”
Stuart Cowie: A great result from what was a difficult weekend with so much expectation.Now we have to focus on the last three rounds in Asia and provide all of our drivers with theequipment to go out and win the Drivers’ Championship.
VALENCIA RACE 1 RESULTS1. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze 14 laps in 25m39s0522. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze + 1s1033. T Coronel BMW 320 TC + 6s3454. K Poulsen BMW 320 TC + 9s9615. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze +15s404
VALENCIA RACE 2 RESULTS1. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze 13 laps in 23m14s2962. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze + 4s4343. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze + 1s1434. T Coronel BMW 320 TC + 2s1845. G Tarquini SEAT SR León 1.6T + 2s966
DRIVERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 18 OF 241. Y Muller (Chevrolet), 333 points; 2. R Huff (Chevrolet), 317; 3. A Menu (Chevrolet),253; 4. T Coronel (BMW), 164; 5. G Tarquini (SEAT), 155; … 12. D O’Young (Chevrolet), 43;14. C Bueno (Chevrolet), 25; ... etc
MANUFACTURERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 18 OF 241. Chevrolet, 734 points; 2. BMW, 433; 3. SEAT, 393; 4. Volvo, 126.
NEXT RACE: Race of Japan, Suzuka, 22-23 October 2011.