Menu fastest, Huff 3rd and Muller 5th, as Arai (8th) impresses in his WTCC debut
Alain Menu topped the rankings in the testing session held today at Suzuka, which marked the kick-off of the final and decisive Asian tour of the 2011 WTCC. In dry weather conditions, the Swiss driver posted his fastest time in the final minutes of a session which was mainly devoted to work on the cars’ set up, as this is the very first time that the WTCC is visiting the Japanese track. The WTCC is using the 2.2 km “Eastern” track at the country’s F.1 complex.
The RML-run Cruzes had a fruitful working session, with Rob Huff setting third-fastest andYvan Muller fifth-fastest times. Local hero Toshi Arai, who is driving the fourth Cruze of theteam, impressed in his WTCC debut, clinching an excellent eighth time.
• QUOTESAlain Menu (1st): “My plan for this session was to test in race conditions, mainly to checktire degradation, which may be an issue on this track. Everything went well and the car wasfeeling good, I was even able to do a very quick time as I put on new tires towards the end,and this is quite encouraging for the rest of the weekend”.
Rob Huff (3rd): “A good working session for me, I am quite happy with the initial balance ofthe car and have already identified two or three adjustments to make. The session was alsouseful to understand that this track is quite challenging with regard to traffic, especiallybetween turns 2 and 8. With so many cars on the track, it will be crucial to manage well thisaspect, especially in tomorrow’s qualifying.”
Yvan Muller (5th): “I spent most of the session exploring and understanding the new track,as this will be fundamental for tomorrow and Sunday, and also working on the set up. Thecar lacked a little bit of top speed at the end of the session, but this will be fixed fortomorrow.”
Toshi Arai (8th): “I am happy with how things went today. I am adjusting quickly to the carand the times are not bad. I’m still losing time in the first braking and over-steering a bit inthe corners, I guess I still need to adapt a little bit to touring car racing!”
SUZUKA TESTING RESULT1. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze 53s6082. R Dahlgren Volvo C30 Drive + 0s1143. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze + 0s2534. T Monteiro Seat SR León 1.6T + 0s5695. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze + 0s5928. T Arai Chevrolet Cruze + 0s871